Division Unfairly Defined
It’s now gotten to the point whenever I hear the word “division” an ill feeling begins to disrupt any semblance of peace I thought I may have had. This multi purpose word (division) usually thought of in a numerical equation has been vastly overused in this particular instance and misinterpreted when adopted by some to describe their perceived vacuum, which only appeared after Barack Obama became our 44th president. While his detractors constantly remind us, he’s the only one that should be blamed for this schism. Yep, this ill feeling undoubtedly pervades my peace?
I would expect this type of analysis to come from the likes of a Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity who are paid to stir up mischief, not to forget the GOP candidates who are vying for their party’s nominee to become our next Commander In Chief. It’s obvious they’ve concluded that by repeating these unproven claims, it may possibly absolve them from any responsibility for our country’s ills. Not to mention the frustrations of the many common folk who’ve bought into this delirium hook-line and sinker, is truly amazing!
Undeniably this narrative has found its way into the talking points of the usual suspects of politicians and pundits who promote deception, which is to be expected. However, those of us who utilize social media can also attest that the nasty tone of the many i.e.“keyboard warriors” who troll social media sites, inserting their opinions, deploying bombs of strife and targeted attacks on anyone who even hints at the least bit of support for President Barack Obama is unsettling, to say the least. They’ve completely bought into this false narrative!
Now, am I suggesting that the president has been perfect in his seven year tenure, and that he shouldn’t suffer scrutiny for some of the decisions he’s made, absolutely not! I’ve had some frustrations as well with our current president, though more to do with his sometime too cool of an approach with foreign policy and domestic issues, but I am not suggesting by any means that it’s reasonable to place all the world’s problems and ills upon him, that’s too easy and disingenuous. Nor am I suggesting that the much talked about “division” we’ve been hearing so much of lately is the fault of him alone! How did we arrive to this visible fork in the road? Let’s begin to explore the answer by revisiting that unbelievably historical day on November 4, 2008, when the first African American male was selected to become the Leader of the “Free World.”
Hope and Change
Such as I, many people were undeniably happy and encouraged to witness the historical significance of this particular election, especially in their lifetime! I saw, and personally experienced, tears of joy and exorbitant amounts of euphoria as people danced in the streets and embraced each other in home gatherings (as we did) after the final tally was announced declaring “Yes We Can!” It was a day I thought we had made amends of some sort, and that this spectacular occasion would cause many of us (of course not all) to be able to look beyond our differences and come together for this moment in time and the good news is that some of us did. After all, we had just come through one of the nastiest campaign cycles that hurled seeds of doubt and contempt for this presidential candidate who had a Muslim name and a background that we were encouraged to despise and reject. It didn’t work, it was now time to put the rigors of campaigning behind us and begin the healing process, so I thought! Even the many conspiracy theorists, who appeared to be sore losers, had claimed the community group Acorn stole the election for Barack Obama by ginning up non existent voters, which was never proven to be true and could only have happened if Acorn had the ability to factiously vote millions of times over for Mr. Obama. This was viewed by many as another futile attempt to disqualify this moment of inclusion and celebration, yet we carried on and embraced the moment!
However, as we all soon learned, while we were yet celebrating several republican senators were secluded in a back room scheming and devising their plan to announce to the world that their clear intent and purpose were to make Barack Obama a one term president! The process of division had officially begun! In retrospect we were witnessing the birth of GOP obstructionism on a new level and their unwillingness to concede that there had been a changing of the guard. Sadly, Barack Obama hadn’t been sworn in yet; however, these men thought it necessary to announce to all who were concerned that they needn’t worry, this mirage of inclusion and healing was only temporary.
It didn’t take long for the GOP lawmakers to make it perfectly clear that the president was in for a rough ride and that he would be met with stiff opposition, criticism and division in whatever agenda he tried to set. Most notably the “Affordable Health Care Act,” which its opponents quickly referred to as “Obama Care” with the hopes this monicker alone would drive the electorate to support the disposal of the law.
Their numerous failed attempts angered and embarrassed the GOP lawmakers even more as they then alleged “Obamacare” was in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and that it should be deemed such by the highest court in the land. Needless to say, the Supreme Court ruled that there wasn’t anything unconstitutional regarding the Affordable Health Care Act nor its implementation.
Not to suggest that the implementation/rollout of the Affordable Health Care Act has been without problems but it has insured nearly 20 million people since its inception according to the Commonwealth Fund. However, the fight continues to wage on as we hear many conservatives and members of the Tea Party demonize the very audacity of a president who tried and suceeded to make it possible for all Americans to receive proper healthcare.
In addition, the disrespectful and hate filled allegations made by certain lawmakers that our president was born in Kenya and that he is not a naturalized born citizen of the U.S. should rule him ineligible as a U.S. President, has been the underlying tenor of complaints that’s persisted throughout his time in office.
Although this president is not the first and will certainly not be the last, calls for his impeachment have at times reached feverish pitch. Even when “Multiple surveys of U.S. public opinion have found that the clear majority of Americans reject the idea of impeaching the President while most Republicans have been in favor; for example, CNN found in July 2014 that 57% of Republicans supported efforts while about two thirds of adult Americans in general disagreed.” CNN
It was clearly obvious from the start, “division” was the Modus operandi if the republicans were to stem the tide of a widely popular Barack Obama. “Republicans leaders, conservative think-tanks and right-wing pundits were calling for total obstruction of the new president’s agenda. Bill Kristol, who helped block Bill Clinton’s health care reform attempt in 1993, called for history to repeat on the Obama stimulus — and everything else.” Jon Perr.
While we watched concerted efforts to reject any proposal the president had put forth, along with the nonsensical attempts of the GOP lawmakers to shut the government down, at the expense of their constituents, revealed just how desperate they were to prove to us all that this election should never have happened. Descriptive terms such as divisive and antagonists were used more often when people talked about the lawmakers and their unpopular and noneffective maneuvers.
As I’ve listened to the varied opinions and false allegations as to why this president has become the most divisive to grace the oval office, whether it’s the decisions to enact: Don’t Ask, Don’t tell, Affordable Health Care Act, Marriage Equality Act, and his imaginary intent to abolish second ammendment rights of gun ownership, just to name a few, I’ve become even more skeptical about the republicans definition of inclusion and why it’s not appealing nor really included in their dogma. The overused and unfair premise that Barack Obama is the reason for why this country is divided is nothing more than a smoke screen that tries to hide the depravity of thought and deceptive tactics of the republicans that would try and shift the blame soley on the president, yet it doesn’t go unnoticed by those who’s eyes are wide open. As we’ve watched the current election cycle and the emergence of a Donald Trump, who’s obviously not qualified and despised by the republican establishment, whether they like it or not he is the GOP’s frontrunner in the upcoming election, and it’s become apparently clear with all the dysfunction and anger we’ve witnessed, “division” lies at the doorstep of the Grand Old Party, who’s failed to “add” to their party in significant and meaningful ways!