A few months ago, I went over to my friend’s house. He was a German exchange student and his host father was a war veteran judging by the memorabilia and medals along the walls of the house. This kind old man welcomed us into his home and even offered us cake and beverages. He was clearly a nice guy, playing with his dog and telling jokes. What threw me off, was his toilet paper. Each sheet was a picture of Obama’s grinning face. So I had to ask: Why? The answer was what you would expect.
“You see, that’s all he’s good for,” this old man said with a grin.
Its not even surprising anymore. We’ve been numbed by “Obama Bin Laden” and “Obama is the Antichrist” bumper stickers. Numbed by friends and family casually expressing their absolute hatred for all things Obama. Putting his face on toilet paper almost seems like holding back.
This isn’t one sided though. During elections, Mitt Romney faced claims that he had multiple wives, and even claims of his his criminal, sadistic intent. And when I was a little kid, I learned more than a few words from my parents ranting about George W. Bush.
I just have to ask the same question I asked that kind old war veteran: Why?
We’ve seen the toll this job takes on a person; most presidents leave an eight year term looking twenty years older. Its the most stressful job in the country right next to bomb diffusers and brain surgeons.
With so much power and responsibility along with the promises made before being elected, of course they’re going to face criticism. There was never a president without critics and there never should be. People have a right to voice their complaints, especially when times are tough.
But far too often this criticism turns into a blind hatred. It’s just too easy to blame the president for everything that’s wrong with the country. Those who voted for him may feel that he didn’t live up to their unrealistic expectations, and those who didn’t vote for him may have already decided to despise him from the beginning. Either way, he becomes a conduit of anger as individual complaints are blurred.
The next presidential election is in two years. Maybe we will finally have that president we’ve been hoping for. That one who solves all of the countries problems and satisfies every single citizens’ hopes and dreams. But more likely it will be another human being in a country that isn’t perfect.
This president won’t be loved by everyone, and people will voice their complaints. Hopefully this time we could just try to be a bit nicer though. There are plenty of other faces we could put on toilet paper.