Commentary: For our durable republic's sake, put down the Kool-Aid

The Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-EnquirerNovember 15, 2012 

Judging from the rabid, shrill, apocalyptic mouth foam seeping through my email filters, some of us (most of us, the numbers say) need to be rudely slapped out of our delusion that this is America in 2012.

It's Poland in 1939, and Obama's Wehrmacht is rolling across the land, flattening everything in its path.

(There seems to be some lingering confusion as to whether Obama is a communist or a Nazi -- historically incompatible, but never mind. The emailer who called the president a "Jew Muslim" thought that made sense, too.)

So much for the traditional congratulatory grace period after an election; it's just one more of the havens of political courtesy from which this particular president has been curiously exiled. The End Times are upon us, and not even the Almighty will help us now. "After the results of the election," posted one mourner of our imminent national demise, "I really believe God has turned his back on this once great nation."

Writes another: "To Allah and the United Socialist States of America." (OK, again … it's just possible that socialism and radical Islam also have some compatibility issues. But perhaps I'm nitpicking here.)

It's a common theme: total contempt not just for Obama (we get it, we get it -- you hate the guy), but for more than half of the American electorate as well. It seems Mitt Romney's infamous 47 percent was a lowball number: We are now "a bunch of godless, spineless slobs whose top priorities are abortion, sodomy, illegal immigration, welfare, marijuana, atheism and unions."

Wow. The sweeping, self-confident moral superiority is breathtaking. And the other side is "elitist"?

I suspect there might actually be an isolated Obama voter or two lurking somewhere in this vast land who doesn't consider any of those things a "top priority" and who, in fact, has never had anything to do with any of them.

But far be it from me to question a thorough and insightful profile of tens of millions of Americans on the basis of a presidential vote. The election outcome that sent Karl Rove into full delusional freakout mode seems to have convinced a substantial number of people that after last Tuesday the whole country -- or half of it, anyway -- is gleefully lining up to get on the dole, and the "good" half is going to be billed for it.

Bulletin: Unless I missed something and the jobless rate spiked to 50 percent -- a turn of events unlikely, you'd think, to enhance the political fortunes of the incumbent -- then Barack Obama was reelected mostly by working, taxpaying and, yes, churchgoing Americans.

Do the math. It's not advanced calculus.

Much of this post-election vitriol comes in the form of the usual John Birch checklist: In immediate jeopardy now are guns, religious freedom, the family, the work ethic, free enterprise … you know the whole lineup. Probably the only reason Obama isn't listed among the ominous "they" who "took prayer out of school" is that he was still a baby the year that non-event didn't happen.

It's hysterical, both in the sense of being kind of funny, and in the sense of being unhinged from reality.

Barack Obama might turn out to be a great president -- he's nowhere near that now, although what he has accomplished, given the toxic juvenile idiocy he's encountered, is pretty impressive -- or he might ultimately be a lousy one. If so, this durable republic has endured worse, and will still be here and still be durable four years hence. Count on it.

Meanwhile, let's put down the Kool-Aid, step away from the abyss and take a deep breath. Earth is not crashing into the sun, and God still knows we're here. It's the holiday season; let's look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Unless, of course, Obama is planning to outlaw them.

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service