Keep in mind that the year hasn’t gotten of to a good start. A devastating earthquake hit Haiti. Try to imagine how it feels when one person you are close to dies. Now start multiplying. Sarah Palin has decided to join Fox News, meaning that the most popular media is now fully controlled by a single ideology. The very same people who fear a fascist takeover are in fact enacting an ideological takeover. Unemployment remains high. Large banks appear to be the only people with money. Lots of people don’t have health care. As a provider of mental health care services, there are some very fine and hard-working people who can’t get care because they don’t have the money, or were sick before, or mistakenly sent a COBRA check a day or two late. With all of the difficult problems we are facing why are so many self-appointed experts naysing our President? How about a letter of support instead, empowering President Obama in his moment of need so he can do the job we elected him to do?
One of the reasons the Obama administration’s reform efforts are being held up is because there are too many critics. The conservative right has mauled him. Republicans are too afraid of the conservative right to challenge their attempts to take over American with so-termed right-wing values. The democrats have been cowed by their own in-fighting, and their fear of republicans. Liberal progressives have behaved like self-indulgent children pouting when they can’t get everything they want. This President has not been granted the opportunity to do his job due to the intensity of criticism and rage against his administration.
I wonder what would have happened if the people who elected President Obama had supported him? Massachusetts may have elected a Republican for reasons of their own, but the event wouldn’t have as much political potency if Obama had his constituency behind him.
There was a time when a Democracy meant having some respect for our elected officials and empowering them with our vote to get the job done. As a citizen I don’t have all the facts. I am not privy to the wealth of information to which our elected official have access. I don’t fully understand what it means to serve as the leader of people who disagree with me. I do however trust my vote. I voted for this President and I stand behind him right now. I have sent him this message:
Dear President Obama:
Maybe because I am a psychologist, I am used to complexity and recognize that people often behave against their best interests. When I voted for you I knew you would find it difficult to enact change in our country. I understood that we are a divided nation and that many people see the world differently than I do. I recognized you have to govern the whole nation and that everyone in the United States of America is entitled to their differences of opinion. That is why we are a free country.
Despite the Brown victory in Massachusetts, I still believe in the work I elected you to do, and I respect the modifications you have had to make to that agenda in order to initiate change in which all Americans can believe, not just some of them. It is a very hard, depressing and difficult job.
I want you to know that you have my full confidence and support, and I am behind you every step of the way.
Susan Bodnar, PhD