Friday, October 23, 2009

The Office of The President

Rehashing American history (again) has proved an interesting exercise. I catch a lot of the evil, sneakiness, and treachery, that I missed in previous examinations. I make connections and see political deals and the sacrifice of principle for personal gain or power. So many people--our local afternoon talk-show host included-- live under the delusion that there was a time when politics and politicians were civilized. When there was a dignified exchange of idea, not the personal attacks and nastiness of today. Would Burr-Hamilton count as a civilized exchange? Perhaps the Alien and Sedition Act? It only jailed all the dissenting journalists and newspaper men, what's wrong with that? Even Abraham Lincoln jailed dissenting congressmen when they spoke against the war.

Politics have never been civilized, they will never be civilized. The floor of the senate is the natural habitat of the power hungry and the corrupt, liars, thieves, cheats, gamblers, and feckless beggars in fine clothing. It is the realm of great men, certainly. But since when does a great man necessarily mean a good man? The power of great men that renders their good deeds so much more effective must also elevate their evils to the same proportion. I would argue that the majority of men whom history has named great are evil.

Therefore, why are any of us surprised at the singling out of private figures by the President of The United States? Is it not the same disgusting spectacle that humanity has always lived with?

We are surprised because it is incredibly rare for the President to lower the office to the point of making personal attacks on private citizens. In the past there were mass jailing and the jailing of political officers. But I do not think there has ever been a time when the President of these United States engaged in such petty work. To watch the President try to use his Office as a flyswatter against a single personality is a humiliating spectacle. The continual diatribe against Rush Limbaugh is sickening. The President needs to stop concentrating on defeating opposition, he already sits in the White House. He needs to stop acting like a candidate and start acting with the dignity the Office deserves. The Office of the President is above petty name calling, and our sitting President needs to realize that.


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