It annoys me that I have to get my relatively unbiased news from BBC World News. (No offense to my friends across the pond.) I live in the United States. I should be able turn on the radio or television here and get the facts. But NPR is very liberal. And Talk Radio is sooooo conservative. Fox News is not “fair and balanced.” It’s loud (all they do is shout!) and conservative. And CNN is continually being criticized for liberal editorializing. Just give me the facts, Ma’am.
About a year ago, I saw a political analyst on television critiquing our presidents over the last 50 years. (I’m sorry. For the life of me I can’t remember his name to give him full credit.) Good president or bad president, he seemed to give both democrats and republicans a fair shake. But he said something that really struck me about George W. Bush. He said that it’s going to be another 50 years before we can accurately evaluate his presidency. That, unfortunately, his entire presidency was colored by 9/11. Just eight months in office and he had to completely switch gears and deal with the most horrific act of terrorism on U.S. soil. From that moment on, every other goal President Bush had in mind was re-organized, re-categorized, re-prioritized. Having to make such a dramatic shift, having to put so much energy into keeping our country safe, surely other important issues suffered. It is difficult to criticize someone if we haven’t walked in their shoes.
And just this morning, I heard on the BBC, President Obama will be making a decision about our troops in Afghanistan. And none, I repeat NONE, of the four options involved taking troops out. ALL four options include bringing more troops in. And closing Guantanamo? Ain’t gonna happen any time soon. Nobody, and I mean nobody in the entire world, wants ’em. So to all of you disillusioned Obama supporters out there – it’s been less than a year. The man has a big job to do. We can’t criticize a man unless we’ve walked in his shoes.
I’m annoyed with how difficult it is to sort through the rhetoric to find undistorted fact. It is so easy to point fingers and blame. But maybe that’s our job to do. Maybe it is supposed to be difficult. In all of my sifting and searching and questioning I’ve come away with a much greater respect for what our world leaders are faced with and how truly difficult their job is to do. Think of the mother that is told that one of her four children is dying of leukemia and how that will instantly change how she parents EACH of her four children. Something so tragic that will color her entire job as mother. Or think of how any of us would react or do things differently if suddenly we were forced to lead in the rebuilding of a school or community that was touched with tragedy. Think Columbine. Each of our parenting and leadership styles are different. But we all have a common goal. And it would be pretty difficult for one of your neighbors to criticize any of your decisions not having walked in your shoes and seen what you’ve seen.
(While writing this post I found a very interesting site that seems pretty fact oriented about the Obama Presidency — PolitiFact.com — http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/)
(P.S. Don’t forget about our get together tomorrow Friday, November 13th. Collect the craziest search terms for your blog and we’ll all share them tomorrow! You can write them in the comment section or blog about it – but don’t forget to link/comment here so we can all see them! See you tomorrow! I can’t wait!)