Peace Abroad and Peace at Home

I posted this on Facebook in response to a friend asking me what Obama has accomplished. I will probably edit it a little though and fix the typos.

I do not understand the extent of the hate for Obama. George Bush, who by the end of his second term had left our country in such terrible shape, did not get this level of vitriol, and that’s not counting all the anti-christ, not-American, not-Christian garbage.

Obama inherited two wars, the worst financial crisis in I don’t know how long, probably going back to the depression, a world that hates us, a country that hates each other, and he had to fix this nightmare stew of fiascos with the kind of republicans who have now admitted that their goal was to not let him have any kind of success, to block everything he tries to do to fix the mess they dumped in his lap. And then they have the gall to point out that he can’t get them to work with him.

In spite of all this he has accomplished a lot. I beg of us all, give credit where credit is due. We averted a depression, everything is slowly improving, the deficit is falling, unemployment is falling, the stock market is at an all-time high, he ended the war in Iraq, he’s winding down the war in Afghanistan, and to those who listened to his speech, he is now winding down and limiting the war on terror, and even though many presidents have tried to institute some form of national healthcare, Barack Obama gave us the Affordable Care Act. I could go on, but here is a list.

One could argue that the list was compiled by [fill in the blank] but nothing on this list in untrue. I suggest reading it to the end to truly understand what he has accomplished (because, for instance, the science stuff, some of my favorites, are towards the end!).

To that list I would add (because they came after it was compiled) immigration reform and helping usher in an age of civil rights for gays.

Disagree with the guy if you want, I do at times, express disappointment when he doesn’t act when he should, or as strongly (Guantanamo Bay) but for the love of god, let us end this period where we have to hate each other when we have different opinions, and vilify the other party’s representatives. We can do better than this. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of this myself, but I will do better in the future.

I’ve posted pictures of this spot before. It’s the northern end of Washington Square park. This section makes me feel at peace and happy. Weirdly, even though it does that for me, and is also arguably the most beautiful part of the park, it is always the least populated.

NOTE: I’ve got the Naval Academy graduation on in the background, and their responses in the ceremony are yelled with such vigor! And they all sound like if they sang in the choir they’d be basses.

Washington Square Park, New York City

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “Peace Abroad and Peace at Home

  1. Hi Stacy,
    this is one of those threads that is almost impossible to reply to. You don’t mention the controversial subjects that are responsible for this new ill feeling toward President Obama.

    You mention some factors that are all arguable.

    I have thought and thought about how a person could reply to the sentiment that you have offered, and I’ve come up with something that might not work, but I thought I might give it a shot.

    Today the Japanese are our friends and allies, but in World War II they were enemies, and so there were a lot of unreasonable pejoratives used to mischaracterize by the social engineers on both sides.

    Today those same forces pit us against each other as left or right and guide us into being very kind to the groups that actually attack us in various ways.

    So here’s a suggested approach.

    The country exists under the umbrella of two gigantic bubbles — a left bubble and a right bubble.

    For example, you mentioned all the hatred about President Bush. You may be unaware that all that hatred only existed in your bubble. In my bubble there were some disagreeable things, but basically we liked President Bush.

    In your bubble, it would have seemed impossible that the entire country did not hate President Bush, but that is only because the bubbles are so huge that mostly the inhabitants of a bubble never see outside their own bubble.

    In your bubble, it was as plain as day that gun ownership should have been minimized. The reinforcement for that idea was staggering in its prodigiousness.

    In my bubble, the idea that a pretext would be used to actually deny citizens their constitutional right is akin to totalitarianism.

    We exist in two different bubbles that have been created to pit us against each other instead of against forces actually doing us harm.

    So here is my suggestion.

    I am going to advance the idea that generally speaking the truth lies between the positions advanced by CNN on the one side and Fox News on the other side.

    As a consequence, here is my offer. I will try to withdraw my objections to President Obama by 50% if you will agree to advance your objections to President Obama by 50%.

    Who knows? We might actually get close to the truth.

  2. People can criticize Obama, I’m just so sick with worry about the world I try to focus on the positive. I did that with Bush for years! But in his 2nd term I couldn’t anymore. Even then though, I didn’t hate him personally, and wondered what the hell was going on and tended towards Cheney and others as the answer. But I probably took my frustration out in rants against him too, though. I don’t remember.

    So by all means, when people have specific objections, instead of generalized hate without reason, that I am okay with. I may disagree but I won’t feel hopeless. You never do that.

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