Based on yesterday’s near-unanimous vote to override the presidential veto, it is not surprising that a mere 19% of American people believe government will do the ‘right thing’.
The vote, in both houses of Congress, gives families of victims of the 9/11 terror attacks in Manhattan the right to sue Saudi Arabia for “justice” given a perception of state support of the terrorists, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals. All the “official” evidence could not establish unequivocally that the Saudi “nation” supported the terrorists who flew those four aircraft on that fateful day.
That vote shows how “low” the members of Congress have fallen, in pandering to the emotional pleas for justice, effectively revenge against a foreign state, thereby generating a potential for reciprocal retaliation against U.S. military and diplomatic officers serving in foreign countries, should some mishap occur, and the families of victims chose to sue the American government. Of course, it is an election season when, obviously, all reasonable thought and pursuit of serious government policy based on a serious and critical examination of the nuances of the issues has long ago ‘left the building’. And of course, insulting the president in the last months of his presidency just completes the political excoriation he has endured for the last six years of his administration.
Some of those who voted for the override did not even know what they were voting for. Others were merely pandering to their potential voters in November. Others were deliberately sticking their finger in the eye of the president whom they consider ‘weak’ and ineffective and resent his clear capacity to lead, ‘to take the high road’ and to endure the slings and arrows of their racist venom.
Its is not accidental or incidental that the same day of the vote the President appeared on a town hall on CNN at Fort Lee in Virginia in which he answered questions from Jake Tapper and from the service men and women gathered for the first presidential visit to the base. Two days following the first presidential debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton, Obama, without inserting a single word of partisanship, demonstrated clearly and unequivocally not only his command of the issues, but illustrated reasonable expectations of a legitimate President. Just by his “presence” he effectively, subtly and yet very powerfully underlined his support for Hillary Clinton.
He took a question from a military widow whose husband failed to get treatment from the Veterans Administration and died following the metastasizing of his colon cancer. His complex and respectful answer about the systemic dysfunction in the VA and how far that process has both advanced and needs to go, acknowledged the serious impact of the bureaucracy and his aggressive attempts to change the culture.
He also took a question from another military widow whose husband, following several deployments in which he witnessed too much from battle, and from which he suffered PTSD. He refused to seek help for his illness because he did not want to be considered “weak” by the military, and he became one of the twenty-two military veterans who take their lives every day in the United States. Again Obama indicated that he has directed the Secretary of Defence and the Joint Chiefs to send the important message ‘down the line’ that seeking help is not a sign of weakness, and must not be held as such within the military itself.
Another cultural change that will take decades, if not centuries to reverse, especially given the tide of hyper-masculinity, epitomized by Trump, and upheld by millions of his frightened little men supporters that is running rampant across the country in this election season.
Whether he prepared for the first debate or not, and whether he prepares for the next two, Trump cannot escape the fact that if he secluded himself for days, or even weeks, he could never cover up the core truth of his arrogance, his incompetence and his lack of integrity, not to mention his idolizing of money, and the commodification of everything including himself, and by extension, the country, should he become president. And that list does not even mention his narcissism and his racial and gender and sexist “phobias”
One real president in graphic relief beside a mere ‘wannabee’….and contrast could not be more clear or evocative of the danger in the nation’s reaching for the bottom of the barrel to vote for the cardboard cut-out.