Friday, September 23, 2011

Presidential Standards

I believe, as I have believed for a long time, that the 2012 presidential election will be shaped — and, ultimately, decided — by the unemployment rate and the general state of the economy.

But there is more to it than that, and, as tempting as it will be for many of his supporters to blame racism when he faces the almost insurmountable challenge of trying to be re–elected in the midst of an economy that is, arguably, worse than it was when he took office, blaming racism shows a stunningly naive world view — and an ignorance of history that is shocking. At the very least, it dismisses the role white voters played in his election in 2008. It was nice to have all those young voters and liberal voters and black voters energized, but Obama simply could not have been elected without the support of white voters.

If they abandon him in 2012 — and I think many will — racism will not be the culprit.

Barack Obama has a record in office and, whether he wants to or not, he will be judged by that record. He will also be judged by certain standards of presidential ethics, which, admittedly, have taken something of a beating in recent decades.

But, no matter what kind of beating the truth may have endured, the truth is still the truth. A president cannot run away from the promises he made when he sought the office — and what he has done — or failed to do — when he seeks re–election to that office.

I cannot tell a lie.

I cannot tell the truth.

I cannot tell the difference.

(Sometimes I think I should have been a political cartoonist.)

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