Awful, Better, Best, and Perfect

image_largeAn acquaintance recently sent me an ad for a President Obama memorial Xmas ornament. I was tempted. He was sarcastic, calling Obama “Uncle Thomas” and “Onkle Tom” followed by a list of Obama’s real and perceived imperfections. He’s an old, middle class, white guy who probably doesn’t know any actual black Americans but he’s convinced that Obama was a tool of the power elites and “that’s how I perceived him, as did and do many in the black community. I knew well before he was elected that he had to be a tool of those who truly govern the country.” I don’t know about the “many in the black community,” but about 10% of that so-called community voted for Trump; mostly proving you can fool some of the people all of the time. I’m tempted to buy one of those  ornaments just to piss off the nutjobs on the far left and right. Anything that irritates those two herds of nutjobs and morons is worth owning and a bargain at $22.

I only wish the world was that clear and simple? My experience tells me that nothing is as simple as it looks from thousands of miles away or even across the street.

I admit that I was and am impressed with Barak Obama’s performances as President of the United States. That is saying something, because I’m mostly unimpressed-to-disgusted by the presidents I’ve observed in my lifetime. Starting with Truman, who was president when I was born and left office when I was five years old, through Bush II there haven’t been many bright moments in American executive branch politics.

While he didn’t stay in office long enough to accomplish as much as he might have, Jimmy Carter was probably the 2nd best president in my lifetime. He was too much of a micro-manager, a typical fault of self-made business men, he had a vision for the United States that would have positioned the country far more soundly than the mess made by his successor, Reagan. We’d have moved into the metric system, evolved away from oil and carbon-pollution energy sources, and our education system wouldn’t fallen to 3rd world status. But Carter lost to a candidate every bit as goofy and unqualified as Trump before anything resembling Fox News existed; when he had the Fairness Doctrine to balance the media foolishness. Today, Carter wouldn’t have a chance even as a Democrat. He’d be too easy a target. All I really know about Kennedy comes from history books. I was 15 when he was murdered, but there was no politics in my life at the time. I do know that many of the adults I knew in Kansas were not unhappy he was killed. So much for the good old days when we were “one country, united.”

Otherwise, the presidents who have mismanaged the country in my lifetime have all been awful or less-awful.