Are You Here For The Love Of Obama?

Look at him. Isn’t he lovely? I think this year a few more persons out there than just Michelle Obama will have President Barack Obama as their Valentine this year.

For those who care about that sort of thing President Barack Obama’s job approval rating is 50% in the most recent three-day Gallup Daily tracking, from Jan. 29-31. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen a Gallup rep with a clipboard or gotten a call from these people. Who cares about that anyway?

Our president is dreamy though isn’t he? Tall, dark and handsome. Loves his wife, kids and that little dog of theirs.

Covert war with Pakistan what? Getting rid of Van Jones who? How can we think about things like this when our new president is such a fox…and he loves us, right?

Ever since I heard this quote from The Color Purple author Alice walker I knew for sure if Barack Obama became president we, especially Black folks, would have to deal with this.

I remember seeing a picture of Fidel Castro in a parade with lots of other Cubans.

It was during the emergency years…

Fidel, tall, haggard, his clothes hanging more loosely than usual from his gaunt frame, walked soberly along, surrounded by thousands of likewise downhearted, fearful people: he, like them, waving a tiny red, white and blue Cuban flag.

This photograph made me weep; not only because I love Fidel and the Cuban people, but also because I was envious.

However poor the Cubans might be, I realized, they cared about each other and they had a leader who loved them. A leader who loved them. Imagine.

…A leader who would not leave them to wonder and worry alone, but would stand with them, walk with them, celebrate with them – whatever the parade might be.

At the time I wondered if we would force the pendulum to swing in the other direction. Clearly the Bush administration found it difficult to hide their contempt for the American people, even Congress. I wondered if we were so desperate to be loved that we would allow President Obama to get away with murder.

It’s like there’s a party, not a political one that takes real action on the regular of course. A party of Black people, people of color and all kinds of progressives. A party of believers. Believers in one man and the ideas he represented. Believers who wanted to be loved so much we couldn’t bring themselves to actually listen to this man’s words.

Does he even love us back? Sometimes it seems like it. Maybe that’s not important right now cause when he asks us “Are you here for the love of Obama?” some of us will say yes before he finishes that line from Ray J fabulously horrible dating reality TV show.

Now I’m not a hater and I don’t like putting things in those terms. I’m also not a Kool Aid drinker, whatever that means. My feeling is this, these feelings, this love has got to be dealt with if we are going to get anywhere as a people with President Obama.

There’s a lot of talk about his first year as president and it seems to me Valentine’s Day is a great day to evaluate it and what all of this love has done.

I think in our efforts to get this man to love us back at times we give him a pass. We try to protect him from these guys (The Republicans and white right wing entities like Fox News) pictured to the right.

We let his dreamy historical importance and swagger distract us from what’s important like the alarming rates of unemployment for Black folks and the race to the bottom for everyone except Wall Street.

We let him get away with taking a harsher tone with Black fathers on Father’s Day than with Wall Street and the banksters.

We act like if he just listened to this one speech or this one song or this one person he would change his mind about a great many things. I think that is destructive and condescending to this man who is clearly an intellectual and deftly navigated through most of the hurdles that were thrown at him over the course of a 2 year job interview.

This type of approach ultimately leaves us dis-empowered, waiting by the phone for a call that’s not coming. We may be giving it up too easy and I fear so he won’t be that into us. He may think we’ll always be around to complement him on his winning smile.

I don’t know that President Obama qualifies as my Valentine this year, though I don’t need a designated day to tell me to express love.

I will say this, I watched candidate Obama fairly closely and where I see an opportunity for a deserved “love” for him is during the debates against McCain and during his campaign. He showed a willingness to switch gears and change strategy. The Bush administration showed us “stubbornness as a virtue” while candidate Obama showed the exact opposite.

The candidate Obama was self correcting and offered a different approach eventually when necessary to do what works, what’s practical. It’s this quality that gives me some real faith in him till this day.

While we wait for next Valentine’s Day we should all consider learning the names of his cabinet members and your local congress members so we can also hold them accountable too, not just the hot guy in the front who’s always on TV.

Our Sweet Baboo is not Superman and can’t fix everything alone because he can’t do everything alone. How about we show a little love for ourselves by being the responsible citizens President Obama insists on talking to us as…sometimes.

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  1. Pingback: Exclusive Report: America’s Economy to be Powered by Obama’s Love by 2020

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