As in the past, people today continue to use these terms and concepts to help define a particular standard in politics: can we trust this person or organization? Do these people or organizations deserve our confidence? Can we rely upon this person or this organization to do the right thing for our country and our people? These questions are problematic because, in the modern day, they are mere rhetoric. As a practical matter, we do not hold politicians accountable for their words, or their behavior.
Politicians of both parties must earn the trust and confidence of the American people. They do this by treating us with dignity and respect, by speaking to us truthfully and without purpose of evading the truth. Have Barack Obama and his wife earned our trust and confidence?
When CNN correspondent Jessica Yellin recently interviewed Obama for a forthcoming documentary; she asked the president why he did not do more to reach out to the opposition party at the beginning of his term in office. According to Ms. Yellin, Mr. Obama said that one of the reasons he did not reach out to Republicans was because he wanted to spend more time at home with his wife and children. Is this an honest statement from the President of the United States?
President Obama ran for president on a campaign pledge to unite “red America” and “blue America.” Even though Democrats controlled both houses of Congress since 2006 and in the first two years of his administration, Obama continually complains that he is running against the “Republican Congress.” He claims Republicans are to blame for partisanship and gridlock in Washington.
To be clear, there is gridlock in Washington; it was intended by the founding fathers as a check against emotionalism and poorly considered legislation affecting millions of citizens. But is Obama’s problem the Republicans in Congress when the GOP controls only one half of the Congress? Is his complaint rational, considering both houses of Congress belonged to Democrats from 2006 to 2010? Finally, in spite of Obama’s complaints, he has not once asked House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan to visit with him at the White House. Are Barack Obama’s claims true, or false?
Michelle Obama recently delivered a stately address at the Democratic National Convention. All reports from the media suggested a stellar performance, but no one seems interested in the fact that Michelle Obama was lying to the American people about the Obama couple’s early days. In spite of Obama’s claim to be impoverished, he was able to afford Columbia University and Harvard Law School —not many of us can afford to send our children to such prestigious universities. Add to this the fact that the Obama 2008 campaign verified that Mr. Obama made two overseas trips in 1981 —the same year he transferred from Occidental College to Columbia. He visited his mother and sister Maya in Indonesia, and then he later visited Pakistan for three weeks.
Mrs. Obama’s claim that her husband drove a rusted out car, that they struggled to make ends meet, that he searched for furniture in neighborhood dumpsters rings a bit hollow considering both attained elite educations from private academies and Ivy League colleges. Both had expensive tastes, evidenced by the fact that they purchased a two-bedroom condominium in 1993 for $277,500.00, and then a few years later, they moved into a $1.65 million mansion in Hyde Park. Is this what we heard from Michelle Obama from behind the podium of the Democratic National Convention? Was the first lady being honest with the American people when she claimed these “difficulties”?
Finally, we all witnessed the brouhaha at the Democratic National Convention over their exclusion of any reference to God from the Democratic Platform, and we heard the debate about whether the Democrats should acknowledge Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel. Of course, the real issue isn’t whether Democrats recognize one city or another as Israel’s capital, it is a matter of international law —along with whoever has the most guns. But we all remember how the Convention Chairman took three votes on this issue: should the Democratic Platform remain unchanged (excluding God and any affirmation of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel) or should Democrats insert these affirmations? After the third vote, the Convention Chair confirmed he would insert these two affirmations into the Democratic Platform. The hall erupted in loud booing. Democrats clearly denied God on three occasions, after which the cock crowed and Democrats went back to sleep. They did not want God or Jerusalem into their platform.
It gets worse.
This issue of Jerusalem actually addressed important changes in the Democratic Platform between 2008 and 2012; it is important because the platform reflects the views of its principal proponent, Barack Hussein Obama. The following language, present in the 2008 platform, remains excluded from the 2012 platform.
“The United States and its Quartet partners should continue to isolate Hamas until it renounces terrorism, recognizes Israel’s right to exit, and abides by past agreements. Sustained American leadership for peace and security will require patient efforts and the personal commitment of the President of the United States. The creation of a Palestinian state through final status negotiations, together with an international compensation mechanism, should resolve the issue of the Palestinian refugees by allowing them to settle there, rather than in Israel. All understand that it is unrealistic to expect the outcome of final status negotiations to be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949."
Our question remains: are the American people justified placing their trust and confidence in the fidelity, integrity, honor, or ability of Barack Hussein Obama or the Democratic Party?