Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
The first answer many people might say is "We chose Barack Obama to be our President." Usually, following a Presidential election the financial markets stabilize at least for a honeymoon period, but not this time. Mr.. Obama seemed to spend more time blaming all problems on the people who were not on his team. By comparison, Franklin Roosevelt did not denigrate Herbert Hoover! FDR didn't remind Americans that the "two chickens in every pot" that Hoover had promised had actually flown away! NO! FDR focused on proposals and improvements and growth. Mr..Obama engendered great trepidation by borrowing more money in two months than the previous forty-two Presidents who preceded him.
First we need to honestly look at the truth. The Republicans really fell down when Trent Lott was criticized for praising Strom Thurman on his one hundredth birthday. Mr.. Lott told Sen.. Thurman and the world that if he had received "a few more votes and a few more electoral votes, things might have been different today." Detractors called Mr.. Lott a racist for suggesting that had Truman lost, the civil rights movement would have been derailed. THAT WAS A LIE! What would have happened is that Governor Thomas E. Dewey would have become President, and he would not have recalled Gen Douglas MacAtrthur from Korea. Gen. MacArthur would have captured all of Korea, and the march of Communism across Asia would have had a serious setback. Volumes could be written on how this might have changed the history of the ensuing three score years.
Remember that some of the greatest social advances of the twentieth century occurred during a Republican Administration. Eisenhower was President when the Supreme Court decided Brown vs. Board of Education and when Federal troops supervised the integration of the schools in Little Rock. Maybe integration would have come sooner if Governor Thomas E.. Dewey had been elected on that warm and sunny day in November, 1948.
So what does this have to do with today? Well - it means that opposition candidates and advocates MUST speak out when President Obama or any other person tries to use exaggerations, half truths, unfounded insinuations, misrepresentations, or straight out lies to hamstring the honest and constructive work and words of sincere, dedicated seekers and supporters of truth and respect. It also means that just because we don't call someone a scoundrel shouldn't prevent us from complaining that we aren't given sufficient time to do things right the first time. At McDonald's Restaurants a quarter pound hamburger must be cooked for four minutes. If someone wants to serve this sandwich after only two minutes' cooking, his employment will end very soon.
How we got here is simple: it is not that we disparage the good, but that we accepted the bad and the ugly. Let's all slow down so that we "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water." The road between Phoenix and Tucson is comfortably driven at 75 mph, but the Cross Bronx Expressway is far safer at only 45 mph. Let's all take the little extra time to save ourselves from a very bad wreck!
© L. Henry Platt, Jr.