An interesting phenomenon is starting to happen among some liberals online and in person. Bush is becoming their version of “Yo Momma.” For example, when I get into a political discussion with a liberal and I begin to have the upper hand in the debate, I tend to get a response along the lines of, “Oh yeah? Well, Bush!” Of course, it is not literally like that. It usually consists of a general statement about the Bush administration justifying all Republicans being kicked out of the debate. How do you argue with that? It’s not because it’s a good point (many of Bush’s policies can’t really be described as conservative), but because it was made to be the bullwark to further debate, much like “Yo Momma.” I could say “Carter!” in response, but I’m above that. I then walk away and let them have their moment of glory, even though they cheated. The worst part is, a good deal of media I have seen sees this as a legitimate arguement.
As a Republican, these things make me mad. I hate that Bush’s administration is being made out to be something it’s not. He was not a great president, sure, but a good deal of the bad things that happened in his administration could be placed on Congress. Don’t even get me started on the dichotomy that people seem to think he is both an evil genius and an idiot. You are either one or the other; you can’t be both. When people call Bush dumb because of his speaking ability, I feel like it’s a slight against me as well since my public speaking ability is abysmal. Even if he was an awful president, having your ideology dismissed because it leans to the same side is just plain wrong. So is blaming a national attitude on the president in office. I see celebrity after celebrity talk about “the past eight years” as if it were a dark time where people were oppressed. The fact is that Bush did not do anything about this, but it was a national attitude, and not much of one. For example, the homosexual community gained a lot of ground during the Bush years, and were not oppressed any more than they were under Clinton (who signed the Defense of Marriage Act). Everyone does know that oppression makes for more sympathy and better comparisons to the 1960s civil rights movement, so that is likely the reason. The previous attitudes toward homosexuals, as well as other groups “oppressed” under Bush have likely not changed. They are just less vocal. The emerging democracy in Iraq is being overlooked as a factor in the Iranian protests. Instead, Obama’s election is being seen as a major factor, even though I don’t see any reason why. When I hear Bush and my beliefs being treated like this, I feel mad, like I want to push a liberal into a volcano. In my mind’s eye, that liberal usually ends up being President Obama.
I was having this thought process about a month ago when I had an epiphany. I wanted revenge. After all of those years of being treated as second class intellectual by my peers because of my political beliefs, I wanted someone else to suffer for it, and that someone was our new president. I had to step back and look at what I was thinking. Was this right? Of course not. Thinking about pushing liberals into volcanoes is just as bad as actually murdering them, according to Jesus. I was ashamed that I was thinking this way, and resolved to think differently. However, my epiphany did make me think about others who were demeaning the new president on the internet. After Obama was elected, a classmate of mine gave a whole lecture on how this election should not get us down, almost as if America had just resurrected Saddam Hussain and elected him president. When hearing things like this, I could not get my previous revenge thoughts out of my mind, and conceded that this was an understandable way to act after being mistreated by the media and an over-dramatic public. However, did that make it right? The simple answer is no.
As Obama’s presidency went on, I noticed how conservatives were doing all they could to complain about the new president and demean him in every way. It made me cringe, especially since many of these people were Christians. What made it worse was that this was during a time of national crisis. We needed to come together now more than ever. Instead, we are focused on proving that Obama is not a native citizen and pulling apart every little thing he did. This acting out of vengeful thoughts was getting out of hand. There is really no reason for this other than spite, and it makes us look like fools. This president needs our spiritual and mental support, even if he does not have our political support. Does that mean we let wastful spending policies and stupid comments go? Of course not. But that also does not mean we should treat him like Bush was treated when he clearly does not deserve it. That makes us no better than the jerks who hurled unfair insults at Bush all those years. At least in the latter situation there was a case to be made. With us, there is none (at least for now).
One elephant in the room here is the cult surrounding Obama during the election. That was just as, if not more, wrong than what I have described. It was insanity, and Obama was letting it all happen. Thankfully, the euphoria has died down and people are beginning to realize he is human, but this event still leaves a bad taste in conservatives’ mouths, and provides further justification for these conservatives. The “Church of Obama” left a bad taste in my mouth too, but we have to keep in mind that there is a cult-ish element in the Republican community, too – the conservative church. Many Christians blindly follow the Republican party and all of their policies because of the sole issues of abortion and gay marriage. The thinking is that since this is the party that wants to protect babies and marriage, than all of their thinking must be Godly. No thought was put into the social causes of abortion or if Republican social policies were actually Biblical. The masses just blindly followed. This has led to a church very far off the mark. Bush’s presidency has let us come to our senses a bit, but this is still something we need to fix. The reason I bring all of this up is that we, especially Christian conservatives, should not point out the speck in one party’s eye without addressing the plank in our own.
Personally, I consider myself a moderate leaning Republican. I feel this way because I believe in small government and fiscal responsibility, not just the abortion issue. I also will not cry if socialized medicine is implemented and the death penalty goes away. I was against the Iraq war, but believe it is important to defend ourselves as a country (I think anyone who thinks a country should be all peace all the time is not thinking realistically) and make sure people are not plotting attacks on our soil. This is why I oppose many of Obama’s policies. However, I draw the line at demeaning him as a man. I do not want to say he has an ego or an attitude or is a racist. I do not know him, so those are unfair assertions to make. I am not one to hate presidents. They deserve respect and some form of alleigence, and that is what I’m going to give to Obama. Even if he was some sort of horrible person, I am still supposed to love him and treat him with basic human dignity. This is the love Jesus calls us to. It is a love that is supposed to set Christians apart as a people. It is a love I do not see being expressed among us. I hope it is again someday. Until then, I will say honestly that I will pray for the president and for wisdom on how to get our country out of this awful mess.
In closing, I encourage all of my conservative brothers and sisters to give Obama a courtesy not given to our people. It will certainly cause more waves than if we go the way of the bully. We should fight for our policies to be made law, but we should use rational reasons not rhetoric or lies. This is how we are going to get things done in this new age, and I believe we can do it because we do have a case.