To the Editor:
Three Marine V-22 Ospreys approached, flying low and fast over Nantucket Sound leading Marine One and Marine Two. President Obama and his family were coming to vacation on Martha’s Vineyard for the fifth time. I stood on the beach and admired the sight, the military pageantry of it all. I knew a convoy of black armored SUVs waited at the airport ready to whisk them away to a secluded house up Island, in Chilmark.
Afterwards, when I turned to look at my nephew in the water, the thrill of the moment turned into sadness when I considered the imagery of an unpopular president disconnected from the citizenry, living in a secure bubble inside the White House, descending to earth on this peaceful August Saturday in a sudden cacophony of helicopters with a phalanx of armed Secret Service members.
The Obamas tend to keep out of the public eye when they stay here. The president prefers to huddle with strategists and ventures out occasionally to eat, play golf and ride a bike. On last Monday night, he did attend a fundraiser in Vineyard Haven for Senate Democrats where political heavies paid $15,000 to $32,000 each. There are a few welcome signs nailed up along the streets and you can buy a commemorative tee-shirt in Oak Bluffs, but the Island doesn’t seem very excited to have the commander in chief this year. Not like his first visit, and definitely not like when Bill Clinton joyfully waded into adoring crowds. No, this is something very different.
Back in 2008, people projected their hopes and dreams onto candidate Obama; he was supposed to be some sort of a savior who would end poverty, war and lower the sea level. Half of America actually believed the hype. So did Obama.
Fast forward to today and we see a very different man in the White House. After nearly six years of the Obama presidency the evidence clearly suggests he is failing. His poll numbers continue to drop to record lows. He is mired in weekly scandals. He has grown the welfare state and imposed socialized medicine. Millions have given up looking for work and most new jobs are part-time. This administration is like a train crashing in those old cowboy movies, except real people are being hurt today.
Meanwhile overseas, stability and prosperity are fading, due in part to Obama’s collapsing foreign policy. He declared the war on terror over, ignoring dramatic evidence of the rise of Islamic terror groups like ISIS. Russia is on the move again while we are shrinking our military. Our allies no longer trust us and our enemies don’t fear us.
The majority of Americans are unhappy with the direction Mr. Obama has taken the country. They favor smaller government, lower taxes, strong borders, a strong military, reducing the debt and transparency. We want to be able to choose our own doctors. We oppose crony capitalism. We are tired of a terrible economy and burdensome government regulations that kill good jobs and prevent small business from getting off the ground. Most of us don’t approve of his numerous executive actions that circumvent Congress.
Barack Obama will go down as the most secretive, dysfunctional, and divisive president in the modern era. The damage he is doing to the country goes far beyond day to day events. He has willingly torn the nation’s fabric in the pursuit of political victory and power. He has promoted, indeed encouraged, division between friends, families, ethnic communities, classes, and political parties. He has grown government at the same time he has destroyed our faith in government. He has exploded debt while many families struggle to survive the Great Recession, which he helped prolong. This president has become corrosive and most of us are just plain tired of him.
The First Family returns to Washington on August 24 when another rush of those armored black SUVs and agents wearing sunglasses and wires race down the narrow Island roads. The rotor wash from the helicopters will subside and the Island will return to normal. It has survived Jaws, Ted Kennedy, the Clintons, and John Belushi. It can survive the Obamas too. As the summer winds down, people will celebrate Labor Day with family and friends. Most of the tourists will have headed back home, freeing up the roads, and schools will open again. The fishing Derby starts soon. There is a popular bumper sticker on the Island that says simply, “Pray for September.” I suggest another, “Pray for America.”
Peter B. Robb
Holliston and Oak Bluffs