Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Driving Blind

To the driver of the car in front of me on my way to work this morning:

I did not think it would demonstrate good judgment on my part to get out of my car, knock on your driver’s side window, and respond to the question you posed on your bumper sticker. I would have preferred to have this conversation with you face-to-face. Since we were in traffic, I was headed to work, and your rear bumper was covered with NRA and other gun-related decals, I thought it best to respond this way – anonymously behind the security of my keyboard. I value honesty, but I value my personal safety more. Besides, it is possible that your bumper sticker was more of a rhetorical question, and no sense getting popped with a cap over a question that did not need an answer.

Your bumper sticker question to me, “Sorry Yet?”, with the Obama 2008 campaign symbol within the letter “o” of the word 'sorry', deserves an answer.

No, I am not sorry yet. Thanks for asking.

There are a few things that I would prefer Obama did differently. There are a few pieces of legislation that I wish Obama had pushed harder for, instead of outsourcing the job to his party leaders in Congress. I am guessing that those things about Obama’s presidency that disappoint me are quite different from the ones that disappoint you, but nonetheless, I am not 100% satisfied. That much is true.

Sorry I am not.

I am happy that private sector employment is growing. I am happy that the Iraq War has been managed effectively since January 2009. I am pleased that inflation is low (nearly non-existent), that my taxes haven’t gone up, and that the markets have rebounded nicely since he took office. I am glad that an economy in free fall has been reversed, and stability has taken its place.

I am glad that we cut out the banks as the middle man in the student loan process. I am not pleased that an auto bail out was necessary, but glad he did the unpopular thing and saved those jobs.  I am glad that bail out funds are being repaid.  I am happy that health care reform was passed.

I am glad illegal immigration is down. I am not sorry that financial reform passed and has become law. I do not regret that insurance companies cannot discriminate because of pre-existing conditions, and that those who try to avoid paying their fair share will be forced to buy insurance, just like the GOP advocated for years as a way to promote personal responsibility.

I am not sorry that quiet diplomacy worked and we will have a peacefully transition from Mubarak in Egypt, and that divisions of our young soldiers were not required to accomplish that objective.

You should be happy that Obama has signed only one piece of gun legislation since taking office. Concealed weapons are now legal in our national parks.  Yup, that's it.  He's not taking your guns, regardless of what you have been told.

I am glad that a majority of Americans in recent polls approve of how Obama is handling his job, even during a time of high unemployment and overheated rhetoric about Muslims and Socialists.  I am glad that you are vocal through your stickers, yet still in the minority.

Your bumper sticker also read, “If you aren’t outraged, you are not paying attention”. I am paying attention, and I am outraged. Not for the same reasons you are, though.

Maybe I would have stopped to chat if I hadn't seen the "I (heart) our snipers" sticker.  Maybe some other time.

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