Okay…we have a “cool” president. That really doesn’t do much to help me sleep at night. Let’s look at the differences between Obama and President Bush (emphasis intentional).
To begin, I hang out with teenagers a lot because I’m a high school teacher. If there is one thing I know it’s this…teens don’t want the adults in their lives to act like kids. Oh, they might think that so-and-so’s parents are really “awesome’ or their science teacher “rocks,” but when it comes down to it they want the leaders in their lives to act like grown-ups, someone they can count on to guide them, keep them safe. They want us to be responsible and trustworthy. I have never missed a day of teaching; my kids know that they can count on me to be there, to do my job. Yes, some kids think I’m “cool” or “fun,” but they also know that I’m in charge and that I take my job seriously. It’s nice that most of them like me, but it does not drive me or influence my decisions, and they know it. Back to “O.”
Our president is supposed to be the adult in charge, and I find his “coolness” disconcerting. His swagger as he exits Air Force One and his strut across the lawn as he waves at reporters makes me feel like I’m watching the high school quarterback walk across the field at the beginning of the homecoming game. And the way he literally looks down his nose as he reads from TOTUS (maybe he needs glasses?)…well, it makes me cringe. And, good grief, he just couldn’t get much “cooler” than when he walked onto the field to throw that pitch in his baggy jeans and tennis shoes. And it’s not the jeans or shoes that bother me, it’s the way he wears them. He might as well be holding a flashing sign, “Look at me! See how cool I am? Aren’t you lucky to have such an awesome leader?” I feel like the popular guy at high school is running the show. It’s embarrassing.
I think back to 911 and the decision to go to war. I remember how President Bush behaved; strength with dignity describes it for me. He didn’t pretend to have all of the answers, but he took control of the situation; he was a calming influence for the country, I believe. I know that I trusted him to deal with the calamity. Did I agree with everything he did as President? No, but I always admired him in that he made his decisions based on what he felt was best for the country, not what would make him well liked. I took comfort in his faith in God. I had peace knowing that he sought the will of his Father in heaven when big decisions had to be made.
What it boils down to is this…I don’t feel safe with our leader. I’m embarrassed by him because I think most of the world views him as I do: a naïve incompetent. I think they are laughing at us as we circle the bowl and it saddens me. Most telling was “O’s” speech in Italy. He was obviously knocked off his game because he was pretty much blown off during his trip, and by the time he got to Italy he was a wreck. It did my heart good to see him reading his notes from the podium…he wasn’t looking down his nose that day. What a difference when he came home to his adoring audience when he boldly declared that he was going to get his policies pushed through contrary to the “chatter” that occurred while he was gone.
I don’t want to be led by a frat boy; I want a President. I don’t want the leader of my country to be worried about being “cool.” I don’t want him to swagger and sway as he graces us with his presence. I don’t like wondering what embarrassing thing he’s going to do next and what the world response will be. I don’t like feeling unsettled. He’s put our country in terrible danger with his arrogance and he has a pretty powerful following. Let’s change that in 2010 and 2012.