By Doug Patton
July 20, 2009
I have a confession to make. I was wrong about our president. He has been telling us that he is a uniter, not a divider, and I doubted him. I thought he would divide this country like no one who has ever held the office. Well, I was wrong, and I want to publicly apologize.
I thought Mr. Obama's call for a cap and trade policy to combat "global warming," with its provisions for tax increases and higher energy prices, would surely drive a wedge between us, but I was wrong.
I was sure that President Obama's push for "the Employee Free Choice Act," which opponents now have dubbed "the Employee Forced Choice Act," would segregate labor against management like nothing we have seen in a generation, but I was wrong.
I could not imagine that the president's insistence on a government-controlled universal health care scheme would not divide us one from another over an issue that is so crucial to our future, but I was wrong.
I predicted that what I perceived as cowardice in our president's foreign policy would split this nation down the middle and create an intolerable divide between Americans, but I was wrong.
I was convinced that Barack Obama's extreme views on the sanctity of human life would cause a tear in the fabric of society like no other issue since the Civil War, but I was wrong.
I had little doubt that what I saw as Obama's hostility to the Second Amendment would create tremendous division over the issue, but I was wrong.
I just knew that this president's penchant for "redistributing wealth" would cause a separation between rich, middle class and poor, but again, I was wrong.
And finally, I had always believed that when this president nominated judges who shared his radical philosophy of government, those nominations would divide the country.
Was I ever wrong! About all of it.
Barack Obama, just seven months into his only term as president, is beginning to bring this country together like no one since Jimmy Carter, the most incompetent president of the 20th Century.
People frown at the idea of raising taxes and energy costs in the middle of a recession with double-digit unemployment. Far from dividing Americans, Obama has created a rallying point on an issue all of us can understand.
On big labor, our fellow citizens could hardly be more united. When properly explained (a practice Obama detests, as evidenced by the fact that he insists Congress rush through legislation without even reading it), the American people hate the idea of depriving workers of their right to secret ballots in determining whether they become part of a union.
On issues of race, foreign policy, traditional marriage, the sanctity of innocent human life, the Second Amendment, property rights and so much more, poll after poll now shows that Barack Obama is uniting the American people against his radical, anti-American agenda.
But perhaps the area where this president is doing the best job of bringing people together is on the issue of universal health care. Americans instinctively know their country is not Europe, and they have no desire to become France. They understand that somehow someone is going to have to pay for all this "free" health care Obama keeps promising. They know that Obama-Care, like Hillary-Care before it, will do less, cost more and provide fewer choices. They grasp the idea that you cannot serve more people with fewer doctors and provide better care for less money. And they know that trying to jam all this through Congress in two weeks is the last refuge of a panicked administration losing its mesmerizing grip on the people.
So, thank you, Mr. President, for bringing us together. I never believed you could do it and certainly not this soon. In less than a year and a half, you can unite us in a mid-term repudiation of your policies, and in three years and five months you can unite us all behind whomever your successor will be.
Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speech writer and public policy advisor for conservative candidates and elected officials. Since 2001, his work has appeared in newspapers across the country and on various Internet web sites. Readers can access the entire archives of Doug's columns at GOPUSA.com, where he serves as a senior writer and state editor. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.