Dear Mr. President,
I have hope. I have faith. I continue to believe in the changes we were guaranteed when we elected you. It has been difficult, if not impossible to fathom the amount of venomous, vitriolic hate, rage and anger the republicans/conservative/ tea party have ferociously and relentless leveled at you since day 1 of your presidency. They have been steadfast in their attacks, disrespect, and attempts at humiliating you at every single turn. Since the beginning of your presidency, I thought I had mentally prepared myself to withstand the barrage of insults they hurl at you every minute of every hour of every day. I expected there to be strong opposition. I expected a few hints of racism. I expected hypocrisy. I just didn't expect the fervor and overtnesss in which it has displayed itself. I continue to ask myself, 'Have they no shame?' Time after time after time, I come to the same conclusion. 'Not one damn ounce!!' I know that many who are reading this are
going to say that this is no different from the way George W. Bush was treated in his time in office. It is true that it was much discourse and rhetoric leveled at W. The many who criticized Bush did so because of his policies, the unjustified wars, the delayed responses to natural disasters, and the overwhelming masses who had presumed Bush had turned over the presidential reins to Dick Cheney. He did a disservice to himself and the country by surrounding himself with people who didn't have his or the countries best interest at heart. And just the simple notion that he was in way over his head.
I agree with every one of those assertions. Where I am different is that I like George Bush as I person. I feel that he is a good and caring man, a good husband, a good father, and a good well meaning American. He just wasn't a very good president in my opinion, and secretly the opinions of way more republicans than you would think. I had the honor of meeting President Bush while he was the Governor of Texas. He was cordial and nice. He even gave me a signed Texas Rangers baseball cap in which I still have. The difference in the discourse and rhetoric leveled at President Obama is that it comes from a deeper, darker, scarier place. It emanates from the souls of his opponents. They have questioned his faith, his religion, his citizenship, his commitment to his country, his not wearing a freaking flag pin. There are conspiracy theorist still hard at work trying to disprove his authenticity. His wife continues to be attacked. He has been accused of hating
and plotting the destruction of this country. He has been accused of being a "Manchurian Candidate". He has even been reviled has being the third Antichrist. Last but not least, is it a coincidence that death threats are up 400% since President Obama has been in office? You be the judge. Literally twenty four hours a day, seven days a week if you turn on any of the A.M. "news" dials, you will be subjected to some of the most hate filled poison to ever blare out the speakers of a radio. There is also a local talk radio "entertainer" here in Houston who shall remain nameless but for the purposes of this article I will refer to him only as "Mam Salone". He refers to the President as Hussein Obama, a not so subtle attempt at stoking the flames of paranoia and distrust towards our president. Its funny, I don't recall this same "entertainer" ever referring to Bush as "Walker". I don't recall him referring to Ronald Reagan as "Wilson". What's different with
this President? Hmmm...
Others cloak their hate and disdain with frivolous made up crisis like the debt ceiling. A historically mutually agreed upon policy in which both sides have never considered not raising except for now. What's different now? Hmmm.... The real question is whose different now? Where was this outrage 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8 years ago? Where was the Tea Party? These crises only serve as thinly veiled attempts to execute their true diabolical ambitions. That is to make Barack Obama a one term president. These political arsonist will stop at nothing as long as the ends justify their means. When the political rhetoric and personal animus towards the president reaches the point where publicly elected officials are abruptly interrupting the State of The Union address to call the President of the United States and leader of the free world a liar we have truly lost our moral compass. I live in a state in which the present Governor and now candidate for the Office of
President of the United States just 2 years ago actually mentioned the words "Texas" and "secession" in the same sentence. This same governor is now in charge of appointing a judge to break the tie in a deadlocked court on a decision to honor Confederate Rebel Soldiers on the license plates of motor vehicles. The shocking part is that it's actually deadlocked. When it gets to the point where the official and unofficial leaders of the Republican Party openly hope for the failure of this president and therefore the country, the spirit to govern has been overtaken by the spirit of distrust, disrespect, and dishonor.
Mr. President, I know that you know this to be true but in your position cannot state the obvious as it will only serve to embolden your haters....errrrr critics who will only see this as you making excuses. Unfortunately Mr. President, some of the blame lies at your feet as well. You have brokered and negotiated in good faith throughout your presidency. It seems that at every turn you have been kicked in the teeth over and over and over again for doing so. You have bent over backwards, invited them over for grub and drinks, jumped through every hoop they have held in front of you, and even played golf with them. I guess what I'm saying is the "killing them with kindness" approach doesn't seem to be working out too well. Their answer to you on anything you propose is going to be not just no, but HELL NO. If you were to propose a law that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, there answer will be HELL NO. If you were to find a cure for cancer,
AIDS, and heart disease, their response would be to call you a job killer for putting doctors out of work. They have proudly shown you their playbook. It's called "Republican Extremism For Dummies". It reminds me of the Charlie Brown and Lucy football bit where Lucy always promises to hold the football and then snatches it away at the last second making Charlie Brown miss and fall on his face every time. Everyone in TV land is yelling in concert at their screens, "NOOOOOOOOO!! DON'T DO IT CHARLIE BROWN!!!" But for some reason, Charlie Brown never hears us. Some people will interpret this as me calling the President naïve. I'm not calling Charlie Brown or President Obama naïve, I prefer the term eternal optimist. Mr. President, when people show you there true selves, believe them. Sir, we know that you are a nice, upstanding, honest, cool, calm, collected, charismatic, and highly intellectual man. Those are the qualities that drew us to you and the
reason we eventually voted you in as our president. Unfortunately, for the masses of people, people who don't follow the day to day sausage making of Washington Beltway politics, perception tends to be reality. Many people only catch snippets and 20 second sound bites that shape "their reality". They take "their reality" to the polls. They then vote "their reality". When they see those headlines in big 3 inch bold letters reading "NO-BAMA CAVES IN", "OBAMA THE SOFTY", or "THE EXCUSE MAKER IN CHIEF" that's what they take back to the water cooler. Remember when you got the drop on those three Somali pirates and sent them to that old pirates den in the sky. Or when you sent Bin Laden on a permanent fishing trip to the middle of the ocean to go service his 72 virgins. In those instances, perception became reality that you are strong on national security. Notice no one has questioned your national security skills since. FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING ONLY, that's the
steely decisive resolve in which you should deal with the republicans, especially when you have gone above and beyond the call of duty for the sake of compromise and good will. You have even faced backlash from your own party for seeming too eager to compromise. We love your cool persona, but it's ok for us to see you get pissed off every once in a while. It's ok for us to see you 'chin checkin" folks when they need it. We want to see you large and in charge. We want to see you "Bossing Up". You have earned the right to do so. It's like in the game of spades when a player is holding the high joker. Mr. President, you always hold the high joker and reserve the right to play it at your leisure or discretion. Whether it's vetoing a bill or raising the debt ceiling on your own, JUST PLAY IT!! If not, they will keep raising the stakes and calling your bluff. Whether you like it or not, you are in the heavy weight championship fight of your life. The
difference is you are fighting with standard, regulatory, legal gloves while the republicans have wrapped their hands with spikes and brass knuckles and laced their trunks with shivs, shanks, and switchblades all while throwing punches and low blows with reckless abandon not caring who or what they hit as long as they land. In other words, consequences be damned, they want what they want. Speaking of punches Mr. President, we know that you can take them. We have been witness to your resilience and durability since you started campaigning back in 2007. The problem is we're sick and tired of seeing you always taking punches and constantly seeming to be on the defensive. Right now you're throwing way too many jabs and way too few uppercuts, left hooks, and round houses. Feel free to mix them into your repertoire. IT'S TIME TO GO BIG!! You see Mr. President, for them it's not about saving our country, spending, the debt ceiling, raising taxes, Iraq, Iran,
Afghanistan, jobs, healthcare, or gay marriage. With all due respect, it's about one thing and one thing only. That's getting your you know what out of office ASAP!! Again Mr. President, I know these are things you think about but can't speak about but I don't mind at all. We continue to pray for your family, your safety, and your leadership.
Terrel Johnson Shepherd III
National Delegate for the 2008 Democratic National Convention
and the quiet majority of people I speak with on a daily basis who share my frustration