Paul R. Lehman, Editorial writer’s attack on President Obama unsupportedJanuary 28, 2013 at 6:12 pm | Posted in American Bigotry, American Racism, blacks, Congress, Disrespect, Ethnicity in America, European American, integregation, minority, Prejudice, President Obama, Respect for President, socioeconomics, The U.S. Constitution, U.S. Supreme Court, whites | 1 Comment
Tags: African Americans, black, city on a hill, Confronting Myths, European Americans, faith family, faith in america, fellow puritans, inauguration day, John Winthrop, politics, Prejudice, President Obama, religious persecution, ship arbella, U.S. Constitution, washington Times, white
The old saying that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” certainly applies to the article “Chipping away at republic” published as an editorial in the Washington Times (1/22/13). The first paragraph insinuates that President Obama does not represent the best interest of America and that “those who still honor the Founders’ vision of America must hold fast to their conviction that our republic will someday stand once again as a “shining city on a hill.” The image does not fit with the reality.
The reference to a “city on a hill” came from a sermon preached on board the ship Arbella to British subjects fleeing religious persecution from the Church of England. The sermon was given by John Winthrop in 1630 to his Puritan followers. The reference to a “city on a hill” was meant to underscore the agreement or covenant Winthrop created between God and his fellow Puritans in reference to what kind of society they would create. The type of government the Puritans had in mind was not a republic or democracy, but a theocracy in which God governed through his preachers; not from elected representatives. So, the reference to a “city on a hill” does not apply to the “vision of America” the founders had in 1776.
The editorial stated that “Though the theme of Inauguration Day 2013 was ‘faith in America’s future,’ the United States has seldom chosen a president more determined to separate the nation from its traditional reverence for faith, family and freedom.” This statement accuses the American people for making a poor choice of Obama as President. The statement also implies that President Obama has neither understanding of nor reverence for the values faith, family and freedom, but makes no attempt to underscore the statement with evidence.
Continuing the comments the editorial noted that “The proposition that individuals ‘are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable right,’ enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, is harder to see in the visions of Mr. Obama’s America where administrative agencies make choices for individuals, even down to the details of dictating the design of everyday household appliances.” Evidently, the editorial writer has a confused vision of what life in a society entails, because where large numbers of people reside in a somewhat confined area, a system of laws for order and organization must be imposed in order for the majority to enjoy as many of the freedoms as possible without infringing the right of the minority. In a republic, elected representatives usually create those laws.
The editorial writer makes the claim that President Obama preventing and obstructing America’s progress by employing a “relentless assault on the U.S. Constitution, the mooring securing the ship of state since its inception.” Again, general charges are made that confound this reader because no evidence or examples are presented to underscore the charges. The writer seems to have a serious dislike of President Obama that is being disguised by these charges. One wonders what parts of the Constitution are being relentlessly assaulted by the President and why are we not protesting them?
We are told that “As a former lecturer on constitutional law, Mr. Obama is well aware that relentlessly chipping away at the founding document’s meaning will tear away the country from a past that once recognized the value of individualism…” What this statement underscores is a lack of knowledge of how government works. President Obama cannot create laws and the means to enforce them; Congress must do both of those acts. As for as the changing or determining the meaning of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has that responsibility, not President Obama. So, what is the foundation of the charges against President Obama regarding the assault on the Constitution?
In reference to “individualism” when the Constitution was written, the only recognized individuals were upper-classed European American males—no minorities or women. If the editorial writer has longings for the past, then specificity must be forth-coming or confusion will dominate the picture created. For example, in the last paragraph of the editorial it stated that “The weakening of faith, family and freedom under Mr. Obama must only strengthen Americans’ resolve to keep their dreams alive until time removes his heavy hand and liberty flourishes once again.”
Both reason and logic took a holiday from this editorial writer as indicated when we examined the comments and charges made against President Obama. For one argument against the editorial, President Obama represents one third of the governing process of America; he is not a king or dictator nor can be under our system of government. He is not at liberty to undo things in the Constitution. The picture painted of our society and the president is one of gloom and doom with no evidence to support either. The editorial writer evidently does not like President Obama for some reason, and that is perfectly fine in our society; that is one of the freedoms we enjoy as citizens. What are not reasonable are the unsupported attacks on President Obama as a means of creating fear and foreboding for the destruction he is supposedly causing in society.
The editorial seems to express a desire to go back to the “good old days” when segregation and discrimination against ethnic minorities and women was in full swing, and the upper-classed European American male ruled the day. Unfortunately, for the editorial writer, those days are gone forever, and the realization of knowing that those days are gone is what has created the pain of loss observable from the comments. The editorial writer has a choice in this matter; the perspective can be positive and forward looking, or can be negative and eat upon itself. Regardless of the choice made, society will continue to change and one will either be a participant or a spectator. One drop of advice to the editorial writer is before making a decision to accuse and attack your president, acquire more information about your country, about its history and form of government. That way when charges and claims are made, they will come from an informed source