No sour grapes, no bitterness whatsoever on my part since I didn’t have a dime in the worthless dollar of either party. Simply commenting on what seems to be a rising tide of excessively effusive deference to and gushing over our President-elect. At the risk of using again a rather hackneyed expression, it is indeed deja vu all over again. I saw exactly this same sort of uncritical praise after the election of Kennedy in 1960.
Before this is over, Mr. Obama will be credited with having set the stars in their courses, created an oxygen atmosphere on the planet, and having single-handedly dug the Panama Canal. Yes, his victory is significant, unique and noteworthy in the skill with which it was won. Yes, he will hopefully reverse many of the unfortunate trends of the last eight years. But…let us remember that he is mortal and far from fallible. President Barrack Obama will make mistakes and they will be expensive in terms of trust, of treasure and of lives.
Please, don’t mistake me for a bah! humbug! person who wishes ill of or for him. The American people have spoken, he is our president, and above all I wish that he do a good job of it.
In The Best and Brightest, his ruthless and accurate dissection of the Camelot myth, David Halberstam pointed out that Kennedy was a very fallible human being, with many faults. He was neither capable of walking on water nor were his advisers, despite a burning, near-irrational faith to the contrary the legions of rapt votaries. New Frontier wannabes do not like to be reminded that the new, young guy offering “change” to a previous generation took us as close to nuclear war with the Soviet Union as we’ve ever come, or that his obsession with toughness – aided and abetted by his brother – set us further along the road to Vietnam, or that one of his advisers kept us in a war he already knew to be lost.
I’m willing to give Mr. Obama a chance to demonstrate himself – not carte blanche, we’ve had enough of that in the last decade – but not blind adoration and certainly not unquestioning obedience. I wish our new president well, but I do not plan to throw myself under the wheels of the juggernaut cart bearing his image.
T. J. Flapsaddle