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Two Sides Of A Coin Called America

08 May 2016

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

President Obama was in Saudi Arabia last week. While his talks with GCC leaders were reportedly a success, much of what he has promised during the twilight era of his presidency is not necessarily etched in stone. I received some letters from readers prior to his visit, two of which I am including here.

Both are from Americans living in America. Both are patriots and love their country. And yet both have bipolar views on Mr. Obama's presidency. The first is from Betty, a white, devoutly Christian grandmother from Kentucky. She writes: ''Where do I start? He is an embarrassment to his race, to his religion, to his political party and most of all to the American people. He is the worst excuse for president that I have ever seen. He seems to think that he was elected as a king instead of president. Any time that people don't agree with him, he plays the race card. During his first term everything was Bush's fault.

''There is a saying around here: How can you tell when Obama lies? Answer: any time he opens his mouth. I don't know if he is a Muslim or not, but you know me well enough to know that if he is, it would make no difference. I just think a person should be proud of his religion not ashamed of it. I don't think I should even get into all of his giveaway programs. As you can tell I don't like him, I can't find anything at all to respect him for…and…his wife is no better!''

The next one is from Mike Ghouse, a fervent believer in sharing the earth peacefully with people of all colors and beliefs. Mike is an activist for many such causes in the US, and in a racial profiling would be considered a ''man of color''. He says: ''The Presidency of Barack Obama will be recorded as one of the best periods of America's economic recovery, social inclusion and wisdom-filled foreign policy and well-being of fellow Americans. The impact will linger for centuries to come. He has not only made a difference in America but in the world's social, political, climatic and economic order.

''If president Franklin Roosevelt got us out of the Great Depression, Obama got us out of a complete collapse from two reckless wars which piled up budget deficits beyond recovery, unprecedented home and business foreclosures, massive unemployment, divorces and depressing hopelessness.
Today we are much better off in every aspect of our society than we were seven years ago. Indeed, he is the man who made America great again. ''On the night of November 4, 2008, when he won both the popular and electoral votes, the entire world cried out with joy, and socially, the world is not the same anymore. This is a fulfillment of the dream of minorities all over the world to be considered and accepted as equals.

''His election gave hope to humanity that someone from a minority community could rise up to be the president of the most powerful nation on earth. One of the historical parallels, if not the only one I see was the efforts of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in uplifting the downtrodden to be equal with fellow humans. He elevated Hazrat Bilal to be on par with everyone, he established that all humans were created equal, and Americans reiterated that value by electing Obama.

''The president has a profound impact on our society, he is instrumental in the acceptance of fellow Americans from the LGBT Community, he has worked hard for the inclusion of Muslims in society, and he has been fighting for equal pay for women. Above all he gave us Affordable Health Care saving thousands of Americans from dying for lack of insurance or for having policies which did not cover pre-existing conditions. America is healthier today because of this act. Consumer confidence is up and the economy is adding jobs like never before.

''His foreign policy is by far the best we have had in the last 70 years; he has mitigated resentment toward America by approaching a sensible course. Egypt could have become our next Iran had it not been for his wisdom in asking Mubarak to step down. Domestically, the Iran deal is the best thing that has happened to the American economy, gas prices have dropped by nearly half helping ordinary Americans with their commuting costs and enhancing employment in the service sector.

''Obama's flaw, like all his predecessors is his gutlessness in telling the people of Israel and America that Mr. Netanyahu's policies are destructive to the long term security of Israel. They have let Israel violate UN resolutions and abuse her military power and disregard the human rights of the weak and disadvantaged. This has generated a lot of resentment around the world toward Israel, which is wrongfully labeled as anti-Semitism.

''His other flaw is his belief in common sense and the hope of working with the polarized members of Congress and the Senate, many of whom have none.

Obama let those rascals run all over him, unlike Reagan who would go to the people to expose the arrogance of legislators for the good of America. Obama will go down in history as one of the top five presidents of America and the first one to open the door for every American to aspire to be president.''

This is what a democracy demonstrates. People have their own point of view and you don't have to necessarily agree with everyone.


— The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena
 

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