Constructive Criticism of US President Obama is not haterade

440px-official_portrait_of_barack_obama1haterade-logoEveryone who knows me in the cybersphere and elsewhere knew that in September 2008,  I was being ever so firm in my committment, putting aside all reservations,  in seeing Barack Obama as president of the United States. I was getting sick and tired of the unhinged behaviour of the Republican Right, it’s clinging to Social Darwinism and self-righteous puritanism and moralizing. It was obvious that America, I believed (and still do) needed a change. Some of my friends  in the conservative movement on both sides of the border were puzzled about my endorsement (and a perhaps felt  a strong sense of disappointment went with it) but I was by no means alone. Andrew Sullivan, William Buckley Jr. and Peggy Noonan among others in the conservative movement  supported an Obama presidency. I think the four of us believed that a catharsis was in order and I am still pretty firm on that.

What happened? What went from me cheering at my workplace with my fellow ” brothas” in November 2008, saying to each other, “Yes We Can!”  from a person who has slowly but reluctantly to the opposition benches almost a year later, metaphorically speaking? I have recently praised my Prime Minister’s foreign policy over the President Obama’s. President Obama’s foreign policy actually, has been quite disturbing to me which range from his cold and distant stance on the Iranian revolt this summer, his idea to rid all nuclear weapons (boy I wish Margaret Thatcher was in better health to tell him otherwise), his apparent disconnect with the Israeli people (the only functioning democracy in the Middle East), his views on the coup in Honduras and so on. His foreign policy, it seems stems from a Carteresque idea as Rabbi Shmuley Boteach rightly coined, “Righteousness from weakness” and an another idea that former U.S. Speaker Newt Gingrich condemns as being a “citizen of the world.”   The concept of a “citizen of the world” is romantic to some but Gingrich would argue that he is not a citizen of a place like Sudan.   I am definately not a citizen of  Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan either.  While Gingrich would respond to the citizen of the world notion that he is a citizen of America, I will say that I am a citizen of the Anglosphere which incorpates the U.S., my home country of Canada, the U.K., Australia and New Zealand and I am proud of it!  I am an Anglosphere exceptionist, guily as charged but if certain leftists have nothing better to do than to sharpen their knives against me, watch this video from Bill Maher back in 2003 in which he argued that some civilizations ARE better than others. If you are a radical Chomskyite, I cannot continue to debate you otherwise of your , “My way or the 401” rigid mentality.  If President Obama chooses a moral equivalence path to his foreign policy, he will have issues. This is not said in spite or malice towards the president but again this is legitimate criticism. Foreign policy from United States President does not exist in a vacuum. When practiced and pursued upon by the President has serious consequences  around the world.   Those in democratic societies around the world who are definately affected by an American President’s foreign policy have a right to praise or condemn the actions of such policy. It simply does no good that left-wing bullies to shut up anyone who has serious concerns.  Whether anybody likes it or not, the foreign policy is of any U.S. President is SERIOUS business. At least Reagan understood this. Thankfully, the results and consequences of his foreign policy were fruitful in dealing with the Cold War, something that the left feels in their own stubborn contrarianism, a need to still question years after the fact, but I disgress.

Those who have legitimate constructive criticism of the President are not  the nutbar “birthers” and “teabaggers”. It is also stupid to suggest that I, Felix Taylor am a  racist (just like the President, I am also a light-skinned black!). Welcome to the world of equality! It doesn’t matter what skin colour or ethnicity a person in public office, if they fail to deliver, they deserve criticism. Those who believe otherwise, one subscribes to the “tyranny of niceness” which does nothing but to squash authentic thought and opinion. Those people involved in legitimate constructive criticism of the President  come in the form of people like David Frum ( a fellow Canadian from my hometown of Toronto) who has blog called New Majority who doesn’t just say NO to Obama, Frum has alternative solutions offered. Close to cyberhome comes a young chap by the name of James Pate, a young Harvard graduate (and an imaginary concubine of Marzia Prince, just kidding, I know James is both laughing and wishing at the same time)  in his spare time for a hobby who loves to blog about the two topics you don’t talk about in polite company: religion and politics. Earlier this year I took Rush Limbaugh to task for wishing and hoping that President Obama fails. James did not believe in giving President Obama any “honeymoon period” of non-criticism on during inauguration time but believed it was healthy for constructive criticism at that time. James did a counterpoint post on his blog in response to my rebuke of Limbaugh, making the case that yes, Rush is a loudmouth and proudly controversial but when he said he hopes that President Obama fails, those words deserve some qualification of what he exactly meant. And no, James has never carried a gun to a townhall meeting. He’s just a normal guy!

There just seems in some circles in the left that there is a “get-evenism” with the fact that just because former President Bush said, “You are with us or against us” that it is okay to seek retribution by silencing any constructive non-personal criticism of President Obama. One fellow on Facebook lamented, “I got told to blow Rush Limbaugh, and was referred to as Glenn Beck twice today for disagreeing with Obama’s policy and questioning what he was done in order to deserve this [Nobel Peace] prize. It seems to be the liberal way of saying, “if your not with us your against us.” But I don’t personally hate Obama either.”  These tactics may make those on the left feel good but it does not actually do NO good in the long run. Again, if we let the tyranny of niceness take hold and refrain from making any democratically elected accountable for his actions, it just serves as a free pass for a leader to be incompetent and sloppy in his job. When that happens, everybody suffers. As I have said before on another post, I still want to give President Obama a chance. Yes it is approximately over 9 months to his presidency but less than three months, it will be a year. If 2010, is to be the same thing as 2009 and if 2011 is the same thing as 2009, it will be time to discuss the possibility of finding someone who can do this thing better. OR, if the  “sane” wing of the Republican Party (like David Frum mentioned, Reihan Salam, Newt Gingrich and others likeminded) as opposed to the insane Republicans (I think you know who’s on my list) take the House and Senate next year in 2010, this could force President Obama into real fiscal responsibility, thus probably saving his presidency (?). We all will have to wait and see the outcomes of the Obama presidency but I will praise the President when he does well in his performance at the same time equally critical where I don’t think his decisions are up to par.  This is not haterade, it is critical thinking in a democratic society. To shut down critical thinking skills, leads to cultism and with saying that , I am not trying to hyperbolic, I have had first hand experience but then again, that is another story.

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