Saturday, February 20, 2010

We Know How You Feel, Elin.

We know how you feel, Elin.

I thought I was watching Obama at a foreign press conference. The apologies were thick and heavy but it wasn’t Obama, it was Elgin Woods. (Maybe he should go by his real name now that he is searching for a new identity. I honestly thought that Elin was hiding behind that big gray curtain with a driver just waiting for another misstep.) I was okay with the whole drama until that very last, most dramatic statement, “Finally,” Elgin said, “there are many people in this room and there are many people at home who believed in me. Today, I want to ask your help. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again.”

When we all believed in him he was participating in an extramarital sexual marathon that would have put Geraldo to shame. In order for us to believe in him again Elgin is going to have to become something he obviously has never been. The choirboy image we were sold was a farce. It’s not a matter of believing in him again, we played that game and lost, it’s a matter of seeing a man worth believing in. Now, it’s hard to believe that his handlers aren’t trying to wheel out yet another cardboard figure that is far from reality.

Why are Americans so totally engrossed with Tiger’s tale? Maybe we relate much better to this whole episode than we are given credit for. You see, ‘we the people’ know what it means to be lied to. We know how it feels to have a spouse who spends mountains of money on every street whore he can find. The marriage of the people to their government was a marriage of convenience. In those early days it seemed to be what was best for both parties. He wrote us flowery letters promising us ‘unalienable rights’ and freedom and liberty. He promised to protect us and be faithful to our desires.

But, somewhere along the way it all started going wrong. Elin is wondering, “Where is the guy I married? Where is the guy on bended knee with a sparkle in his eye as he held up that expensive diamond?” We know how it feels. Our guy is now only interested in himself. He has almost no interest in us at all. He worries only about his own comfort and his own future. Reelection is the name of his game and he’ll sacrifice any remaining trace of integrity or honesty to retain his position in the standings.

We know what it’s like to be married to a wealthy spouse. Our guy used to be the envy of all the other tournament participants. He was the wealthiest, strongest most attractive guy on the planet. Now all that is lost. They aren’t lining up any more to sponsor his foreign policies and we no longer trust him because he has handed out so many undeserved entitlements to his girlfriends. The vast amount of mistrust has put his domestic policies in great jeopardy.

We, like Elin, are staying with the old bird. We largely suspect that our retirement together will not be nearly as prosperous or happy as we thought it was going to be. We’ve heard him apologize many times to just about anyone who will listen. People aren’t looking for apologies. We’re looking for honesty, integrity and someone capable of applying strong common sense principles. He tries on many different jackets but he is the same dishonest, self-aggrandizing guy no matter what he wears or which party he attends.

We know how it feels to have your children done wrong. In one of our family’s more dire financial moments our guy took his hammer to the children’s piggy bank and used their money to make his own life more comfortable. What sort of father who would sacrifice his children’s future for his own comfort? Now our children worry if they will have it as nice as their parents had it. They wonder why their father would do that to them. We have no idea just how their bitterness will eventually play out.

Apologies are warm and fuzzy and have a way of putting a band aid on the wound. But real healing won’t happen until there is evidence that dishonesty has been replaced with integrity.

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