March 22, 2016

Wondering on Wednesday (v51)

I'm saddened by the bombings in Brussels, as are all peace-loving people of the world. I'm upset, I'm angry, I'm disgusted, but I'm not scared. I'm not particularly tough  or brave or anything like that. I just don't want them to win.

I wonder about comments made by those who would be President, including Rafael Cruz who talks about empowering law enforcement to patrol and secure  Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized.

And that's what got me wondering what it is, exactly, that an American president should do when on a state visit to a country and a foreign city is attacked by suicide bombers?

Should he bolt back to Washington, to talk on the phone with foreign leaders, or with senior staff members, when he's been in contact with them all day long anyway? Is he unable to direct the considerable forces of America in all their forms, whether intelligence, national security, foreign affairs, military or otherwise, when he's not sitting at his desk?  Because if the American President is completely out of touch when not sitting in the Oval, we're in deep doo doo.

Should he and all of the rest of us pack it in, go home, sit in the dark, and wait for something bad to happen here, wait for the war on terror to be over, because another European city was attacked? Do we hide, and let the terrorists win?  Do we go on television and let the world know our every thought, plan, idea, and next step? Or, do we defiantly keep to our schedule, after addressing the issue publicly and privately? I wonder.

And I wonder what, exactly, it is that an American president should do when dealing with a communist country?

A Republican American president broke barriers and went to China. A Republican American president broke barriers and went to the Soviet Union. A Democratic American president broke barriers and went to Cuba, and you would think the world had come to an end. But it doesn't come to an end, when Republican presidents visit 'red' nations, does it?  And so why would anyone think that the world should come to an end, or will come to an end, when a Democrat visits a communist country a mere 90 miles away from our shores? I wonder. Should a Democratic president never visit a communist country? Is that just the purview of Republicans?

I also wonder what, exactly, it is that an American president should do when he has three quarters of year left in his term?

He's not allowed to work. He's not allowed to play. He's not allowed to travel. He's not allowed to act normally.

He gets chastised for making decisions: either they're "not his to make" or they're wrong, or bad, or ill-advised. He'd also be chastised, we all know, if he were to sit on his hands and do nothing for the rest of his presidency. He gets chastised for adding money for 'former president maintenance' in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The year in which he becomes an additional former president. Had he not added money to the budget, he would have been chastised for that too, because the money would have had to come from somewhere - the budgets for former Presidents Bush, perhaps?

You don't have to love the man, or his policies, or his race, or his wife, or his daughters, or his background, or his name, or anything about him. Many people don't, and that's their right. He has alternately inspired and infuriated me, more the latter, and it's my right to think that of him as well.

But I wonder what, exactly, President Barack Obama could to to quiet his critics, other than perhaps throw himself off the edge of the earth?