I know many people just assume that I am a lost liberal and, while my personal theology might be so described, you might be surprised to know I actually voted for Bush. I'm not at all proud to admit that today, which explains why I voted for Obama twice. But that was because I was so disappointed with Bush by the end of his second term, and the war and... well... I'm not even going down that road here.
Now, in case you think I'm just a delusional fan of Obama, I have not been altogether pleased with Obama either. And, when it comes time for him to retire from his service to this country, I suspect I'm going to be ready to see him go.
That is, I think I am.
Frankly, I do not believe he has handled all things correctly. But what president ever has? Heck, I'm pretty sure I seldom handle everything right in my own life.
But my point here is simply this:
I may not be right about many things. But I have this sinking suspicion there are lots of people in this country who do not like Obama for no other reason other than the color of his skin. For reasons of racial prejudice. Bigotry.
I have another suspicion, too. The suspicion that, if Obama had a different skin color and were anything but a Democrat, the state of things in this country would be hailed by many on the so-called "right" as nothing less than proof of the resurrection and incarnation of Ronald Reagan himself.
I'm asking for a little honesty here. That's all.
For most white, middle-to-upper class folks in America, life right now could not be much better and, for some, it would be challenging to point to times when things were better than they are now.
When have you seen gas prices this low? It's been a long time. A very long time.
When did you ever see the stock market any higher? It's never been as high as it is now. Imagine if Obama was not black and a Republican. What do you think conservatives would be saying about him, given just the two examples here?
A little honesty here...that's all I'm asking for...
Why his presidency would be hailed as one of the greatest in American history.
When did unemployment get this low? It has not for long time, if my memory has any worth left to it. Oh sure, we need better paying jobs but, come on, I'm just asking for a little integrity here among the very anti-Obama public. And, that seems to include more than just FOX News.
No need to wail here or grasp for straws about how things are not yet what they are supposed to be. Of course, things are not what they should be. Sure things could be much better.
Regarding race, too.
But it is honesty I'm reaching for... just a little honesty, regarding Obama and regarding race.
The fact that there are hungry people still today...that there are hungry children and some folks who won't have a nice holiday...others who still have no health insurance and are without good-paying jobs and I could go on.
And, so could you, especially if you are anti-Obama. Sure, things could be better.
But come on. Can the white, middle-to-upper class community, and that would include yours truly, can we not admit that things are pretty darn good for us?
Can we not say, given our fears just a few years ago when the economy collapsed (which, by the way, was the consequence of Bush's policies, in case you're suffering from a bad case of selective memory loss) when the collapse caught most of us with our underwear between our knees, the fact that we are where we are today is staggering by any measure. Even conservative political measures. Not only has my little portfolio recovered, it's been on steroids for that last couple of years.
Things are pretty good right now. Pretty damn good. Can I get a little honesty out of conservatives especially? And, Democrat politicians? Where are they?
All I'm asking for here is a little honesty this holiday season. Doesn't the president deserve a little credit here?
If this attempt at encouraging a little honesty is even remotely accurate, someone please call FOX News and encourage a little moronic "news" desk that a little honesty on their part would be appreciated?
And, while you are at it, call those whom FOX News refers to as "the press" as if they are not "the press" -- explain that oxymoron to my, please -- and what they more often label "the liberal press," and let them in on this little secret, too.
And, while you're at it still, call the Democrats in Congress too. Where are they when it comes to giving a little praise where praise is due? It seems the "good times" they are enjoying have escaped them, just as it has "the liberal press" as in CBS, NBC, and ABC News.
BBC, oddly, seems to get it. They might be the only unbiased news on cable networks today.
At the close of this year, I'm sitting pretty well. Most of you reading this are, too. I know, not all of you, but many of you are enjoying a windfall you have not seen in a long time. It is certainly reflected in you gift-buying and giving this year.
So, Happy Holidays and Best Wishes in the New Year...
... and oh, to you, Mr. President, and your family, I hope you know how much I and others appreciate what you have done for this country.
My hat's off to you, Mr. President. Have a nice holiday. Enjoy a little vacation time. I think you've earned it. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, too.
Dr. Steve McSwain is an author and speaker, counselor to non-profits and congregations, an advocate in the fields of self-development, interfaith cooperation, and spiritual growth. His blogs at BeliefNet.com, the Huffington Post, as well as his own website (www.SteveMcSwain.com) inspire people of all faith traditions. Dr. McSwain is an Ambassador to the Council on the Parliament for the World's Religions. His interfaith pendants are worn by thousands on virtually every continent, sharing his vision of creating a more conscious, compassionate, and charitable world. Visit his website for more information or to book him for an inspirational talk on happiness, inner peace, interfaith respect or charitable living.
This post first appeared in Dr. McSwain's blog.