Saturday, December 15, 2012

Our Comforter-in-Chief: The Emperor's New Tears

Since our President has made a tearful entreaty for change in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, and since there doesn't seem to be much that is remotely conservative about the positions he takes, I think it is fair game to question where he's coming from.

This statement on its own bothers me:

"I know there's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do."

Actually, Mr. President, parents in America are experiencing some deep sympathy and mostly fear--fear that the unthinkable could happen to them as well.  Some parents who have been through the unthinkable tragedy already are re-experiencing their pain.  But there are parents in Connecticut right now whose grief actually is overwhelming them, suffocating them, and your natural sympathy (and that of most of the rest of us as well) is not even close to that.  We don't have overwhelming grief!  Those parents do!  We are in shock, in fear, and have a secondhand hurt and horror at the thought of what it must be like for those devastated parents.  But our grief isn't crippling us like it is them.  Not even close.  That grief is so paralyzing, it is painful to look at.  But you can look away.  You can be distracted. Those parents can't. You have no idea, Mr. President, and I truly hope you never do.

For those who have seen the movie Broadcast News, and for those who haven't, I rewatched that press conference a few times looking closely at Obama's eyes.  Obama wipes the underpart of his eyes which is the natural reaction when your eyes have welled up and then overflowed.  If the eye has not yet overflowed, you have to make near-contact with the eye to check the impending tear, and there is a trail.  There is no glossy smear under his eye after he wipes, there is no visible welling in his eyes leading up to wiping.  To me, it really looks suspicious as an conscious attempt to get people to stop thinking about the issue and emote on the issue instead.  It just doesn't look real.  I'm not saying the Obama doesn't feel bad about this massacre; I just don't think he's as emotionally moved as he leads us to believe.  He's warming up the audience for "we have got to do something about this."

Obama is President.  His children have been (unfortunately) potential targets since he took office--it's an unfortunate problem with that job.  They are constantly protected and they have to be.  He fears as parents do (although our children are much less protected).  But I've lived firsthand watching the day-to-day grief of parents that have lived through the unthinkable, and what I just saw is not someone who is remotely sharing in that grief.

When I wipe my eyes, as I have had to do several times since I started this post, it is a messy affair.  One wipe smears the saltiness around producing wetness and salty irritation and I end up having to press my hand into my eyes to clear the mess.

But only the wise can see The Emperor's New Tears.

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