I enjoy Ruth Holladay's blog. (Though I must apologize for grievously and repeatedly misspelling her name. I guess I still read aloud in my head and write phonetically). Oh, our politics diverge, but she's usually got something interesting to say -- take her recent post about Indiana Black Expo needing a few more white folks to show up. (I will note the event this year returned to relative peace it had from way back until the last couple of years, when a few few thugs made a mess for everyone. The punks got sat on, hard, by the majority of good people).* It's a wide-ranging collection of events with a long and generally positive history.
But in the midst of her post, she wrote something that makes me sad on several levels:
"...as an independent voter, the president remains my candidate of choice. I worked hard, very hard, for his election in 2008. I am happy to work for him again. This is about making amends: I voted two times for George Bush. I loved Barack Obama's spiel, his eloquence, his vision. I was very disappointed in Bush's flagrant spending --- hello, deficit -- and I wanted to see an end to our involvement in Iraq. Hence my willingness to work for Obama."
While I have a certain sympathy for people who voted for Mr. Obama on the strength of his not being Mr. Bush, his spending has been at least as flagrant as his predecessor's; and while there will purportedly be a significant draw-down in our next-to-most-recent two wars, I haven't seen it yet and the U.S. seems meanwhile to be tiptoeing into another one.
Unlike Ms. Holladay, I never voted for George W. Bush. True, I voted for crazy Libertarian Party candidates instead, but they were gonna end the wars, not start 'em -- wars on nouns and wars on verbs in addition to wars in faraway lands. (I do not recall Mr. Obama or Mr. Bush ending either sort. Did I miss one?)
Used to be, if the rest of y'all in the electorate had the Electoral College pick a Dem, I could take some comfort in four years of less-hawkish Fed.gov behavior and a little more respect for the ACLU's version of the Bill of Rights, at least. Mr. Clinton put the kibosh on that in a big way but the economy tottered on. The two that followed him, though? Y'know, things have not gone so well, even (especially!) the things they supposedly were in a position to do something about. Federal gropers, Federal overcops, bank and automaker bail-outs -- and now they want us to bail out them! Why should I "eat my peas" when Feds have been swimming in ice cream?
So far, the only really good thing I've got from the Obama presidency was when I walked by a bunch of Junior High School kids taking a tour of where I work and overheard a pair of African American lads; one was telling the other that the comment he just made, "...sounded just like the President!" He was speaking entirely without irony; he thought it was kewl. That's been a long time comin'. Now, if the kid will just study law, history and Austrian economists and grow up really fast and get himself elected President.... But I dream too much.
I think sometimes Ruth Holladay might dream a little overmuch, too. I just hope this President doesn't disappoint her as badly as Mr. Bush did. I'm already feelin' let down and I didn't even vote for the guy.
* I will also note the the Middle Eastern Festival weekend, held at St. George Orthodox church, overlaps Black Expo -- and if some clever entrepreneur can, in a spirit of ecumenicism and brotherhood, figure a way to combine the best of the two cuisines, I'll have to fight Tam for a place at the table. Just sayin' -- food can go a long way towards convincing people to get along with one another.
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