Numbers don't lie, but do they tell the whole story?
“People hate as they love, unreasonably.” — William Makepeace Thackeray, novelist, (1811-1863)
Debate and politics go hand-in-hand so last week’s response from a reader got me thinking, and perhaps rethinking my column of last week. In the column I worried about a society that is entrenched in disemboweling President Obama and his agenda at all costs. I theorized it might be based in hate with the “anyone but Obama” faction obsessed with marginalizing the next two years of his leadership out of spite, and without regard to our country and our economy.
I stand by what I said and the main point that impeaching or suing Obama is a colossal waste of taxpayer money, legislative energy, and it doesn’t pass the common sense test. The pieces I am rethinking are more about the history of politics and where hate and racism might fit in in regards to today’s reality.
A reader emailed me and pointed to a couple of links where I would find similar pictures of President George W. Bush with a Hitler mustache. Upon further research, I found that it was another airbrush LaRouche-led campaign. So perhaps my reader is right; hate and stupidity aren’t necessarily walking party lines. He suggested that whenever you have like for a President or dislike, it affects your views and he suggested that my view was colored, no pun intended.
The other good point he made was that I was off-base in calling it hate or racism; he suggested it was more about whether you like a President and his policies rather than a case of being hateful or racist. He pointed out that Obama’s ratings have gone down dramatically during his second term and wrote, “There is a reason for this and I doubt it’s his race. Recall how high his approval rating was at first. This drop in approval is pretty much across the board; men, women, independent folks, even blacks to some degree."
That is a fact that is probably not debatable; but both points of my reader are “nit-picking” and immaterial to the main discussions. The fact is the “anybody but Obama” camp trying to negate or marginalize Obama, or any President hater, is just plain wrong and counterproductive. Zealots will be zealots but legislators, voted in by their peers, should know better. We should expect more from them and any of them encourage impeachment or suing Obama aren’t serving our country. That was my point, and still is.
What is also interesting is that it brings up something I notice in the majority of my detractors who rebut me with private emails or letters. Most will not go public. I put my thoughts out there, but they want to keep theirs secret. I challenge those writing me, allow me to share your thoughts and your links with the Midcoast readership.
When noodling around doing the research I came upon this interesting chart. The chart shows that President Jimmy Carter had more job growth than any president before him. Further, his percentage of growth was greater than Reagan’s first term and more than Clinton and both Bush’s administrations.
One could argue the numbers don’t lie but, like all else in life, there are other factors. My reader was right on one point, if you like a politician you will find facts to fit. Conversely, if you don’t like (different from hate), you can find another set of facts that substantiate your position. In Carter’s case, one could look at what happened with inflation numbers during his administration that ran double digits and choked us until a Reagan-led administration reversed it.
Numbers don’t lie. Or do they?
Last week I ended with “We need to be spending our time, and our elected legislator’s time continuing to work on our economy, health care reform, border control issues and our foreign policy parameters. Instead, a small minority of people and legislators, hell-bent on hate as their motivating force, continue to pound away at our President and anything that he touches. Some are far right, others racist, and some just plain kooky.”
With the political season for the next presidential campaign right around the corner, our legislators need to step it up! Hate and racism aside; knock it off and work toward reform rather than revolution and we’ll end in a better place. Further, please don’t support the kooks with hand waves and donation dollars. If you love LaRouche, write a comment or letter to the editor and let Midcoast Maine in on what I am missing. Sign your name with your town for reference and be heard.
Onward. Turn the page
Reade Brower can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.