- Last Updated on 07:44 AM 11/07/12
- BY Melvin D. Whitlock
As a child, I can recall my recollection of a presidential election year, which was in 1992. In that year, incumbent President George H. W. Bush had been defeated by his challenger, Bill Clinton.
As a 9-year-old child, not knowledgeable of the issues, I can recall disliking Clinton because of the vitriolic statements his supporters were saying about President Bush, and how my perception of President Bush was of a man who appeared graceful in the face of his worst critics.
The political civility in disagreement took a turn for the worse in 2000. As George W. Bush became the president-elect, the Clinton administration has been documented as being iniquitous during the transitional process from Clinton’s Administration toward the incoming Bush administration.
It is estimated that the vandalistic actions of outgoing Clinton staffers caused close to $20,000 in damages during the transition phase. Profane messages about President-Elect Bush had been scratched into several desks, the “W” key was removed from over 60 computers, and profane answering messages were left on many White House phones demeaning the incoming administration.
As Barack Obama became the President-Elect in 2008, many people marked his presidency as ‘atonement’ to the racial strife that had occurred between blacks and whites during the times of slavery and segregation.
Unfortunately, to some fault, but not all, President Obama has brought an even more dangerous divide to sector of presidential politics; that being, the often misguided narrative of racial defense of questionable policies by the Obama administration.
It can be understandable that some people will hold a sense of racial defense for a man who is making, or has made history, by being the first man of color to be elected President of the United States; however, too often the intent to sustain his legitimacy comes at the political cost by many in his support base to polarize disagreement with a shadow of racial undertone.
In my opinion, the Obama support base, especially through liberal media outlets have lowered the bar of prestige that comes from being the President of the United States with the direct and overt intent to inject accusations of racism into any political discussion regarding the political integrity of the Obama administration.
In short, the liberal media and his support base, have unfairly positioned President Obama as an Affirmative Action President, who must be racially protected from the criticisms that come with the office of the presidency.
The disappointment I share, along with many others, about this president’s failure to racially unify the political discourse of today has been his unwillingness to challenge and disavow the unwarranted charges of racism against those who politically disagree with his policies.
The Obama support base often uses the racial strife of the past as an attempt to pacify the growing disapproval of the president’s policies of today (i.e. Tea Party=Klan, Voter ID=Segregation Suppression), when there has been little or no truth to such claims.
Still, President Obama appears content with his support base using racial charges against political disagreement, as a tool to protect his presidency from fair criticism.
If President Obama is victorious in re-election, my first expectation of him as a leader, is to stop presenting the false narrative of ‘inheritance.’ For two elections he will have campaigned to lead our nation; it is not an ‘inheritance’ if you campaigned for the job.
My second and most important expectation of President Obama as a leader is to aggressively challenge his party and his support base on their intent to delegitimize his presidency, by invoking racial accusations to protect his administration from non-racial criticism.
Lastly, my expectation of President Obama is to reflect on his own partisan narrative as president, and serve as an example of a bi-partisan leader.
If President Obama is defeated for a second term, my expectation of him as a leader, is to orchestrate the same peaceful transition that he received from the outgoing Bush Administration in 2008. I expect President Obama to disavow any attempts to aggressively challenge the victory of Mitt Romney by his support base and toward moving America ‘forward’ in the transitional phase.
If Mitt Romney becomes the president-elect, my expectation of him as a leader, is to remove the partisan tone that has occupied the White House for the past four years. Romney, who is considered a moderate in the Republican Party, must embrace the Democrat leadership in Congress. The office of the presidency holds no party affiliation in terms of who the president does and does not represent. My expectation of Romney is to lead the nation, not as a victim of inheritance; instead, as an opportunistic believer in the American people.
If Mitt Romney is defeated, my expectation is not Romney’s influence on his party; instead, I expect the Republican Party to discontinue endorsing the partisan rhetoric from congressional officials who pledged to make Obama ‘a one term president,’ before he even took office.
The most important job of any elected official should be adhering to the will of those he or she represents, and most Americans, through various data, believe in a Congress that is capable of bi-partisan leadership.
Going forward, America must have a leader that is willing to condemn the innerrage of his most ardent of supporters, and enough empathy to at least listen to those who have grievances with his leadership.
It is my hope as a last saving grace for our divided nation we can learn to disagree without the desire to defame or criminalize one another in the process.
In my opinion, there are far too many “social wars” being declared in the name of party politics, and those who declare such wars, are often the ones who seek to inflict the most casualties.