RICHMOND - Recent polls show that President Barack Obama is still being rejected by something over 30 percent of Americans strictly because he is half black. They don't want a black man for president. And undoubtedly for anything else.
I have been an Obama backer since way back and like many other citizens have been disappointed in some of the things he has done and some of the things he has not done. After the disasters wreaked by George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Obama was the supposed man of the people who was going to lead our nation back to being the good guys and at the same time enhance the status of the middle class while protecting those who cannot protect themselves.
While a lot of improvements have been made, there are still so many problems hanging around our necks that we can't stand up and look everybody in the eyes the way we used to. We're not the good guys to the world anymore. We have lost respect. And the so-called wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have made nations less afraid of our so-called military juggernaut. Even though we had complete aerial superiority, we only could claim those positions that had our boots on the ground.
We cannot see the future of Iraq and Afghanistan once our major forces are brought home. Tribal warfare could once more turn those nations into the primitive maelstroms that have kept them independent but also prevented them from living safe, comfortable lives. Every few decades millions of them have to desert their nation and seek foreign refuge under the direst of conditions. We see pictures of them living in squalor with no good water and little food. And among them are the very old and the very young who are unable to travel well or subsist under the deadly living conditions.
There is no doubt that the president of Syria, Bashar Assad, is an evil man who has no compunctions about murdering his countrymen while he continues his shocking ways. The United Nations should declare war against him and remove him from the international spectrum. But just as Obama has the Republicans stacked against him at every turn, so the United Nations has countries like Russia and China that can block good deeds with the slash of a pen.
Consequently, Obama is in a precarious situation. Did he draw a red line or was it drawn for him? The Republicans who have been fulminating for an all-out war for months are now pulling back, saying maybe it would be better if Congress talked things over, seeing what might work best without any blood being spilled.
Obama was smart to throw the problem into the lap of the Congress. After they make a decision he can figure out how to best implement his own feelings without being put under the hammer.
Here is what I have figured out in my five years of monitoring Obama. He is well aware of the 30 percent who would never give him the time of day no matter what the problem. He has also studied the tea party segment of the Republican Party and has utilized its arch-conservatism for his own liberal programs. In other words, the man knows what is going on and what he can do about it.
Obama know how unique it is that a black man won the presidency two times in a row. And he wants to do things right so that maybe some time later another black man can do the same thing. He doesn't want to make the presidency a dead end for a future black man.
So this is what he is trying to fight through at present. There are many more problems still to be worked out, health care and jobs and, one of his earlier promises, the closing of Guantanamo Bay.
Milton Bass is a regular Eagle contributor.