Obama denies what Americans want most.
At the end of his beerfest on the White House lawn last Thursday, President Obama said, “Its an attempt to have some personal interaction when an issue has become so hyped…that you lose sight of just the fact that these are people involved, including myself, all of whom are imperfect, and will hopefully instead of ginning up anger and hyperbole, everybody can just spend a little bit of time with some self reflection and recognizing that other people have different points of view.”
Nearly half of Americans disapproved of how Obama handled this situation. Perhaps his words are an indication as to why so many Americans disagree. His statement includes a lot of truth. We are all imperfect, anger has been ‘ginned’ up, and its very good for people to participate in self-reflection. Socrates said as much, “…the unexamined life is not worth living.”
I think the key issue in this ‘teaching moment’ was tolerance. Obama said it was good to recognize “that other people have differing points of view.” Its all about accepting the opinions and actions of others and then ‘getting back to work tomorrow’. Many Americans disapprove because they have a real commitment to justice. Regardless of race, or power, or position…someone was right and someone was wrong. Those who believe in absolutes want the one who was right to be vindicated and the one who was wrong to be reprimanded.
Obama could show great strength by standing up for what he thinks is right and letting the chips fall where they will. To cover the whole episode with a relativistic viewpoint that promotes the idea that no one here is right and no one is wrong deprives us of our need to realize justice being done.
The philosopher Helvetius said, “When I speak I put on a mask. When I act I am forced to take it off.” Obama’s approval ratings are plummeting because he is now being evaluated by his actions rather than his words. His actions prove him to be nothing at all like his words portrayed him to be.
Obama is a relativist. He denies the existence of that which Americans want most: absolute truth.