Sunday, January 22, 2017

On Obama

I don't agree with everything he did, but I love the way he did it. Obama was (is - he's not dead) a classy guy. He's a role model for behaving under stress, a legendary orator, and a gentleman with his partner.  A recent NYTimes article described one daily practice of his - to read ten letters from average citizens. It described the process his staff goes through, sifting through hundreds of letters each day to find the ten and then choosing the best order for them. This was a priority for him at the start of his term right down to the final day.

Each time I teach civics, four times a year for the past many many years, I've started with the same assignment. Students choose an important issue, figure out what political level has jurisdiction, and then write a persuasive letter to the appropriate representative. And then I'd hand deliver the letters to make sure they got there in time for us to get replies before the end of term. But the replies stopped coming.

I used to count on about a third of the class hearing back within six weeks. I could count on a former MPP, a former principal, and a former mayor responding to every single letter. Now I've started suggesting that maybe one lucky student will get a reply! And I've been weaning them out - only actually delivering the more timely or impactful letters in hopes they could garner some interest, and adding my own letter on top, begging for a response. The letters in return really help students believe that the system works. But nothing. Not even a form letter.

I think I'll have to ditch that assignment. It's not working like it used to. I can't help feeling like the system, even here, is fast losing touch with the populous. The little people have to get out of the way for the big guys to do their work, and that can be a dangerous mentality. I know they're busy, but responding to the people should be a higher priority. And, by the next election, they're often voting age. They'll remember the letters they got - or didn't get.

But SNL was solid last night, opening with a pretty level-head approach to Trump ...

But then a very simple good-bye...


  1. Obama was a bribetaking sellout. He represented Wall Street, the military-industrial complex, the healthcare insurance industry, etc. instead of the people. This is why Americans elected Donald Trump.

    Liberals can pretend a corrupt smooth-talking empty-legacy president was great. But don't expect many people to take you seriously. (Then again liberals don't think very much about the people or democracy, now do they?)

    1. As I said, I don't necessarily agree with what he did, but with the class he brought to the job.

    2. Anonymouse with his "alternative facts" view of the world. Trump has Wall Street well represented in his cabinet, no fewer than three Goldman Sachs honchos. The military-industrial complex will be just fine, especially as Trump has vowed to expand and rearm the US military. Healthcare? Oh those insurers are just waiting for the end of Obamacare and they're sharpening their skinning knives for the folks with "pre-existing conditions."

      This joker, Anon, is as delusional as the Gullibillies who voted for Trump last November. Utter fools.

  2. Those who forget we the people eventually get their exit tickets punched, Marie.

  3. Off topic, Marie, but here's Hedges' latest column about revolt.

  4. I saw that, Mound. It's a good one.


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