The Differences between Michelle Obama's Husband and America's President
Michelle Obama had a real eye-opener of a line at the Democratic Nation Convention Tuesday night when she so poignantly recognized that "being president doesn't change who you are - it reveals who you are." And she is most certainly right -- only not in the way she might expect. Being president has not shown Barack Obama to be the man she so adamantly describes in her speech. Instead, being president has revealed Barack Obama to be divisive, hypocritical, and quite frankly untrustworthy with America's future.
President Obama strode in on an uplifting message of unity and togetherness. Who can forget his powerful assertion in 2004 that "there is no black America, there is no white America, there is only the United States of America"? Michelle Obama tell us that she loves "that we can trust Barack to do what he says he's going to do, even when it's hard -- especially when it's hard." This does not sound like the same Obama who promised unity but instead was revealed to take sides and divide the country at many turns.
When in a press conference saying the police acted stupidly in arresting Harvard Law professor Henry Louis Gates without knowing the facts and laying the blame on race, Obama was not living up to his promise. When our president accused the rich in this country of not paying their fair share at the expense of the less fortunate without acknowledging that they pay more than half the taxes while some Americans pay none, Obama took the easy route of divide and conquer instead of explaining the hard truth.
Still, Michelle Obama continues, "for Barack, there is no such thing as 'us' and 'them' -- he doesn't care whether you're a Democrat, a Republican, or none of the above...he knows that we all love our country...and he's always ready to listen to good ideas." This doesn't sound like the same president who at one time said that he would work together and on both sides of the aisle but then quipped to Republican leaders that "elections have consequences" and "I won." Nor was it shown when the same president who invited Paul Ryan, now the Republican vice presidential nominee and the author of a budget plan for our country, to a speech on the economy only to snub him.
And his divisive tactics and rhetoric don't begin or end on Capitol Hill. In describing small-town Pennsylvanians and rural American voters, Obama sniffed that "they get bitter; they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." Sorry, Michelle, but no, this is not the voice of a man we can trust to desire the best for all of us or to lead all of us. Neither is this a voice of hope; rather, it is a voice of bitterness and cynicism.
Despite Michelle's strong and eloquent delivery on how she and President Obama empathize and desire to work harder for the American people, it is hard to see where they have found the time betwixt their extravagant vacations and frequent tee times. It is difficult to picture them reading letters from struggling Americans who are having trouble paying their bills in one hand and confirming a reservation for the Obamas to take two separate planes to Hawaii for vacation (where they will arrive within hours of each other) in the other. But Michelle insists that America has a president who says to her, "You won't believe what these folks are going through...it's not right . We've got to keep working to fix this. We've got so much more to do."
Many of us would certainly argue that President Obama has done enough already. Moreover, he is the cause and catalyst to the misery in the letters he is reading. If not for President Obama and his insistence at not leaving "health reform for another, day, another president," many more Americans would have their jobs because their companies would not be in fear as to how to make payroll and pay out health benefits for a part-time minimum-wage worker.
And if it is true as Michelle says that for Barack that "success isn't about how much money you make," but rather the "difference you make in people's lives," then why is he so obsessed with taking more of the earnings of those making over $250K a year rather than finding out the impact and difference they are making in their communities and peoples lives?
And those children "with so much promise but so few opportunities" have fewer now because President Obama swiftly did away with D.C. voucher programs that would give promising and low-income families a choice in their education. Instead, they are now stuck in failing and often dangerous public schools that your husband supports.
No, none of what Michelle Obama said of Barack Obama reflects his presidential reality. All of these contradictions add up to a president we cannot count on in the future. For if these words were true, his actions and policies would not be set apart from them, and we would be better off today than we were four years ago. Instead we see the suffering consequences of his presidency which finds us more jobless, more in debt, and less optimistic for a future with him in it as president.
And by the way, sure, he may have started out with certain disadvantages, and perhaps she, too. But let it be known that every person is born with an adversity. Of course, money helps ease the pain of life's daily struggles, but not all adversity comes in the way of lack of money and privilege. This is what the Obamas cannot see. Money is the lens through which they see all people -- those born of fortune and those born without. This distorted vision is what prevents our president from being the leader that all Americans deserve. This is what prevents him from understanding that diversity is about more than race and color. Equality is about more than our tax returns. Good fortune is about more than who your father is or how much money one is able to earn. Obama is prevented from understanding that our country is about equal opportunity and not equal outcomes. And this is why, Mrs. Obama, our president spends too much of his time trying to make government God instead of humbly working to make our country one nation under God.
While Mrs. Obama loves her husband more today than 23 years ago, she is obviously privy to a sides to Obama less revealed to us. Without a doubt, many Americans admire the Obama family and the Obamas' marriage, and they doubtless find her enduring love a great example of loyalty and matrimony. Still, many of us find ourselves relating more to a line from Marco Rubio's speech at the Republican National Convention: "Our problem is not that he's a bad person. Our problem is that he's a bad president."
Lisa Fritsch is the author of Obama, Tea Parties and God and a national television and radio commentator with appearances on Fox News Channel. www.lisafritsch.com