Thursday, September 17, 2009

The fragility of hope . . .

Yesterday, while driving back from Charlottesville, I got behind a big, black SUV that sported this command on its bumper: OBSTRUCT CHANGE: SAVE AMERICA. This, just nine months after we'd inaugurated a president who was elected because America wanted change.

I do have to say it saddened me to see that bumper sticker. I had so hoped we'd moved out from under the tyranny of slogans; moved beyond an acceptance of "speak" over substance; moved away from the allure of knee-jerk opposition based on political allegiance. I had hoped, since we'd elected an obviously deeply thoughtful president, that we as citizens would be willing to think a little deeper ourselves.

Instead, it seems to me that although Karl Rove may be gone, he's left us bewitched, for I see his assault style of politics everywhere. Or maybe its just that knee-jerk oppositionists are just so loud that they drown out those who wish to engage at a softer level.

So, where has all our hope gone? I don't buy that we're such impatient people that we expected President Obama to straighten out the gargantuan mess his government inherited in only nine months? Why is a president who tackles health care reform, ethical issues in the age of terrorism, wall street regulation, and diplomatic relations with Iraq and Cuba, being talked of as non-confrontational. Is it because he didn't yell back at Joe Wilson?

An awful lot of people I talk to seem what? cowed? depressed? disheartened? by the new administration's performance. All that inaugural hope seems to have evaporated.

Why, exactly, is that? Anyone got any ideas?

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, it saddens me too. An acquaintance of mine who was firmly behind Obama recently called him a "hothead," a "turncoat" -- too "reckless" for the job.

    I'm standing by my man, but I'll say that the partisan world he faces scares me. I don't know how his generous, compromise-friendly approach is ever going to work. Democrats and Republicans alike seem bent on shooting themselves in the foot over healthcare -- the Dems because they're determined to get support from the right, and the Republicans b/c they hate everything that comes from a Dem, on principle, regardless of substance. Ugh.

    And I'm disheartened by all the "Nobama" bumper stickers I'm seeing . . . .