Hatred for the president by the opposing party is at an all-time high. Carney-barkers and mountebanks tout their “anybody-but-him” buttons from every high hill and every busy street corner. “We must get rid of this guy” or “I’d gladly vote for Mickey Mouse”, they admit. This evil occupant of the White House will destroy our freedoms, the economy and perhaps life as we know it, if we don’t stop his re-election now. The year: 2004. The President: George W Bush.
When the Democrats nominated another North-Eastern liberal named John Kerry that year (they were soundly defeated the last time they had done that with Dukakis in 1988), the Dems took comfort that their opponent was an easy takedown. It was the thoroughly discredited and hated, “Dub-ya”. The anybody-but-Bush (ABB) crowd prevailed to make GW Bush the issue, thinking that the serious flaws of their own candidate would not be noticed. The approach failed miserably and Kerry lost handily.
This time, the hated and feared incumbent is Barack Obama (those who hate him most would insist that I use his middle name, like a renowned criminal.) He will destroy the country, the economy, and the Western World if he is allowed to have another four years at the helm, they tell us. Radio talk-show host Steve Deace, wonderfully rehearses the conservative efforts to demonize President Clinton in 1996 by using conspiracy theories of murders in Arkansas, the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and warnings that the Clintons wanted to take over the country. They didn’t work then, and they won’t work now.
Boosted by a good debate performance this week by Mitt Romney (the 2012 GOP presidential nominee), some have regained hope that Barack Obama might be a one-term president, like Jimmy Carter. But nobody had to demonize Carter; everyone could see his ineptitude without it being jammed down their throats.
Most current conservative supporters of Romney have taken one of two tacks on his candidacy. Either they ignore his past record of moderate governing (and pandering to them) or they express confidence that at least he will be better than “Obummer” (one of a hundred insulting terms for the man the Bible says we are to honor for his position over us).
Maybe President Obama will be another Jimmy Carter, and will lose his reelection bid, because his actual record is just as bad or likely worse than Carter’s. Yet, I remember Ronald Reagan. He was a president of mine. And Mitt Romney is no Ronald Reagan, in spite of the fact that he has been trying to claim that mantle since 2007 (after earlier disavowing the Reagan-Bush years).
This may be another 1980 or another 2004. God Himself only knows.
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.