Everybody hates the president
More often than not, The President of the United States is the most reviled man in America. The events and legislation of the day, whenever bad, are “his fault”; whenever anything good happens, there’s always someone else out there ready to steal the victory.
Presidents are recognizable faces, especially in the days of hyper-connected media. People find it easy to hate the president for the issues they face, rather than do the research so as to place blame in the proper place.
This isn’t to say that presidents never mess up. Depending on one’s opinion and political bent, a few events across history might seem to be, without a doubt, the fault of the resident president.
Perhaps former President Lyndon Johnson kept U.S. troops in Vietnam for too long; perhaps former President Richard Nixon reeked of guilt in the Watergate scandal; perhaps former President Ronald Reagan’s involvement in the Iran-Contra affair was likely, making him as crooked as Nixon. Perhaps former President George W. Bush sent us into a war in Iraq that only killed young men and further destabilized the region, and perhaps President Barack Obama set up a health care system that will lead us towards socialism and laziness.
But the key word here is “perhaps.” All of these opinions on where to place blame are as accurate as a kid playing pin the tail on the donkey; without proper vision, the donkey will have a tail sprouting from his eyeball.
We all seem to forget, in our anger, that presidents are human, just like everyone else. They screw up sometimes, but in these global events that rock the course of history, there is no way that one single man could be the sole source of error.
Yet everyone continues to hate on the man. Fame has its drawbacks, which involve one’s own Congress going over one’s head in an attempt to undermine one’s legal authority — making it hard to remember that we are all supposed to be on the same team.
According to The New York Times, in response to Obama’s talks with Iran about a nuclear deal, “47 Republican senators … signed an open letter addressed to the ‘leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran’ declaring that any agreement without legislative approval could be reversed by the next president ‘with the stroke of a pen.’”
Basically, these congressman are telling Iran and Obama that any effort they put into developing a nuclear deal will not stand.
Aside from the sketchy nature of this letter and the close-minded, Cold War-era opinions of these congressmen, there is something off about this situation. The fact that legislators hate Obama and his ideas so much that they would rather let the world know about the feud instead of beginning discourse with Obama about perceived disagreements is just bratty.
Obama has faced flak from all existing angles. Whether it is the legality of his U.S. citizenship or his love of gold, Obama — like so many presidents before him — cannot catch a break.
According to www.whitehouse.gov, under Obama’s presidency, “over the past five years, our businesses have created more than 11 million new jobs … (and) America is number one in oil and gas … (and) in wind power.”
These are just a few of the accomplishments of Obama’s time in office. But they don’t matter, because he is president, and everybody hates the president.
The disrespect a president faces does not depend on the specific person. Complaints will forever resound against the man or woman who is elected by the people into office. Such is life.
According to www.philly.com, Nelson Shanks, a portrait artist who painted former President Bill Clinton, among many others of equal renown, said that Clinton “was probably the most famous liar of all time.”
Shanks’ reasoning for this, despite the fact that Clinton “and his administration did some very good things,” is based upon the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In response to this scandal, Shanks included a shadow in the painting of Clinton that represents Lewinsky’s dress.
Former President John F. Kennedy is often looked upon as one of the greatest presidents of all time. Nowadays, the media bends over backwards attempting to defile anyone of renown in the hopes of high ratings, but back in the 1960s, Kennedy had a good handle on what was released.
According to www.ibtimes.co.uk, Kennedy christened a “Camelot era of human rights and economic progress for the world’s number one power … but few people suspect that behind that mask of strength and shape was a very sick man.”
Kennedy had Addison’s disease, “which occurs when the adrenal glands do not produce enough hormones.” While the disease was not a fault, and in fact is something of a testament to all that he accomplished despite his illness, it shows how little the world knew of Kennedy.
The famous and widely-suspected affair that Kennedy had with Marilyn Monroe is much more sultry and seedy than Clinton’s affair with Lewinsky. And yet Clinton is a big liar while Kennedy is the golden boy of the late 20th century.
It is farcical to blame the president over anyone else. Neither Clinton or Kennedy or Obama or any president deserves mass hatred simply because their title seems to elicit such responses.
The point here is that presidents make mistakes like any normal human being. As a president, judgment of them should depend on legislation and similar acts directly related to that high office.
Such judgment should only come after a long bout of research proves that the president was the sole factor or at least the main driving force behind the mistakes of the day.
Don’t hate the president because of his fame and his office. In fact, it is highly likely that he has no control at all. Maybe Elvis Presley and Morgan Freeman, the King and the voice of God, are pulling the strings.
Opinion columnist Henry Sturm is a print journalism junior and may be reached at [email protected].