A Cynical Thanksgiving Photo Op
I’ve had it with photo opportunities — the kind of superficial and symbolic action that politicians do as election time approaches.
I’ve dealt with street-people in various clinical settings over the years, and it is great when there are resources for referring them to get food, clothing and even shelter. The holiday season usually means cold weather no matter if you are in New York or Los Angeles, and it is even more critical for people to get shelter from the elements during the cold months.
But isn’t it the height of cynical politicking to have the President to show up at such a facility and “work?” Even worse, to bring his wife, children, mother-in-law and the brother-in-law (an athletic coach) and his entire team?
I know the charities are grateful for any help they get. I’ve donated canned food and blankets, and I’ve handed out food and other necessities, and I’ve packaged toys for children – and this is the first time I’m mentioning it. Not because I want congratulations, but to show that I’m not some hard-nosed elitist and am staging a “War Against Christmas” — as at least one “Fair and Balanced” news operation rants about this time of year.
There are levels upon levels of cynicism of the most powerful officer in our government doing this type of “public service.” First of all – he’s running for re-election. The homeless people are – at least in theory – potential voters (unless they are felons or minors or “undocumented” aliens). But are they really going to show up and vote?
Then there is the “photo opportunity” aspect – where the press was fully alerted and actually followed the First Family all the way from the White House to the charity dispensary. Of course, this will sway undecided voters to believe that the incumbent is worthy of another term in office – whatever his stance on foreign policy, the economy, his ideas for ending unemployment and various other issues. Won’t it?
And don’t bet any money it can convince the large block of “Fair And Balanced” news-watchers who have been indoctrinated to believe he is not a legal citizen in the first place (the “birthers”) or he is a Muslim (and there is something wrong with that?) or he believes in simply unacceptable things – whatever they may be.
So why the public display of charity and humility?
I mean, it is cute and all that somebody showed up at one of the food banks and found Mr. President and his wife and kids dishing out stuff. Of course, the street people were probably searched for weapons, had to walk through metal detectors, a few were probably pulled aside and not allowed because of anything from racial profiling to unpredictable behavior (a lot of people at places like this are mentally unstable). In other words, it was probably a big hassle for the homeless recipients of the food.
They probably would have wished the President had stayed home and left them alone.
Obviously the food did not come from the Obama table. Whatever was donated (a couple of turkeys) undoubtedly was purchased by the US taxpayers.
On the surface the POTUS (“President of the United States”) and FLOTUS (“First Lady of the United States”) did something cool, but it IS a superficial and symbolic action that politicians do as election time approaches.
A “photo op.” If he gave something from his own salary, I may have been impressed. If he really brought people home from war, I may have been impressed. I am a doctor and I still don’t understand how “Obamacare” is supposed to help people or how the “emergency” bill to help make drugs nobody seems to be able to afford to make get cheaper. Mr. Obama won election by making a lot of people believe that one man –namely him — could make a change. I have an overwhelming feeling that moneyed special interests and personal cronies still dominate a political scene I do not pretend to understand. It has been dumbed down for us masses, and we have been organized into teams called “left” and “right,” so that we can all fight amongst ourselves and stay out of the way of the people who are yanking the strings in the background.