As a Vietnam veteran and a resident of Liberty County, where so many trees have been planted in recent years in memory of fallen warriors from Fort Stewart, I took a special interest and satisfaction in the recent success of our U.S. military taking down enemy No. 1 in the war on terrorism, Osama bin Laden.
At the same time, I am very disturbed by the response of some Americans in the aftermath of this successful mission to minimize the role and involvement of our commander in chief, President Barack Obama, in issuing the direct order to bring the mass murderer to justice. Without a doubt, these would be the same people giving the president 100 percent of the blame had the mission not succeeded.
These blatant attempts to discredit and de-emphasize Obama’s leadership not only are misguided, they are disrespectful of the Office of the President of the United States. Regardless of one’s political persuasion, America can continue to be the greatest nation on earth only if we hold true to our principles and our form of government.
The rest of the world marvels at the peaceful transition of power that our government undergoes at the end of each election cycle and even following various disruptions in our history such as presidential assassinations and the Watergate scandal.
It is very disappointing, then, when some of our own citizens cannot accept the results of an election and spend the next four years undermining, marginalizing and ridiculing everything the president does and says, even after a long-awaited national-security mission expertly is carried out under his direction.
It especially is troubling when so-called leaders of the opposition pay attention to the antics of birthers, secessionists and other anarchists and call them “patriots.” We rapidly are becoming a country of reality shows and stupid sensationalism, while putting any serious discussion of the truly important issues on the back burner.
To those who have resorted to childish finger-pointing, misdirection of blame and foolish accusations toward our president, I say, “Shame on you.”
Especially egregious are the complaints coming from Wall Street fat cats who, after receiving hundreds of billions of tax dollars to bail out their failed business decisions that nearly destroyed our economy, now are unhappy with the fiscal restraint put on them by this administration. To them, I say, “Hold your complaints until you pay the money back.”
And then there is the carnival barker himself, Donald Trump. After his one-issue campaign on the birth-certificate matter was exposed as the fraudulent claim that it always was, he now wants us to believe he would be a strong leader on the economy and on foreign policy.
This comes from the man whose motto throughout his business career has been “When the going gets tough … declare bankruptcy.”
America is better than this. I am well aware of the never-ending nature of political campaigning these days; but in the meantime, we have serious issues on which we must find common ground if we ever hope to address them in a serious manner.
The hate-mongering comments, the silly conspiracy theories and never-ending efforts to discredit our president cause a level of distrust that makes solving our problems all the more difficult.
What I would like to express today is that I am proud of my country, I am proud of the Office of the President and I am proud of its current occupant, Barack Obama. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Navy SEALs, and thank you to all service members who have been such an integral part of our nation’s history. Congratulations on a job well done.
Williams, D-Midway, represents District 165 in the Georgia House of Representatives. Contact him at 511 Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Atlanta, Ga., 30334; call 912-997-5600; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.