Saturday, June 20, 2009

A different shade of green

It still amazes me just how much opposition to President Barack Obama is being expressed, especially by those who didn't vote for him. You'd think that they would wait and see if and how his economic policies would work before criticizing him -- in many cases, getting personal.

On second thought, perhaps I shouldn't be too surprised. We've seen this before, beginning in 1993 with Bill Clinton, some of whose adversaries were trying to derail him during the campaign.

Anyway, I think I know what's behind it: Envy.

Here's why: With all the bellyaching about what Obama does or doesn't do, rarely if ever do you hear his critics giving any alternatives. Nor can they, because the economic policies they subscribe to are the very same ones that caused the mess that he was elected in part to clean up. It was in that context that radio blowhard Rush Limbaugh declared a few months ago, "I hope he fails."

But that's par for the course, I guess, when you're dealing with a hugely popular political figure who isn't a conservative Republican.

The difference between jealousy and envy is that jealousy results when someone has something you want or is threating to take something you already have; envy, on the other hand, is the result of resentment toward another because of someone's possessions and/or status regardless of whether you can achieve or even want them. That's why the Scriptures describe envy, not necessarily jealousy, as a sin -- it's a form of self-worship and thus idolatry.

That, of course, hasn't stopped the naysayers; you get the impression that they would rather wreck the country than see someone not of their party cause positive change. When conservatives had Clinton impeached, what was their point? Basically, that they were in control for its own sake. It had really nothing to do with his corruption (the allegations were generally manufactured anyway) or his conduct -- the real issue was that, if things worked out, they would be seen as useless.

Which is just where things are going now.

It's one thing if people could actually give specific reasons why Obama's policies will necessarily fail; thing is, they have no authority to do so. They complain about his raising taxes (when he has actually pledged to reduce them on 95 percent of taxpayers). Besides that, if you put more money in the hands of the common people it makes sense that the merchants will eventually get that money back, offsetting a greater tax burden on the wealthy.

But we're talking not about what makes sense -- just "know-nothingism" based on resentment of the "other." And that's getting old. Quickly.

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