These two items popped up side-by-side in my news feed today and made me reflect on the ways that my irrational love for the Obamas has blinded me to the administration’s policies, or at least made me less clear-eyed about them.
Over the past 8 years, whenever I heard criticism of the president my first response was emotional. I admire this man so much that it was hard for me to hear those criticisms clearly, whether they came from the left or the right (indeed it was probably harder for me to hear them from the left).
So when my friends called Obama the Deporter-in-Chief, and pointed out that he’d overseen the biggest spike in deportations and detentions since… [my rose-colored glasses fogged up before I ever got to the actual number] I retreated into the world of “yeah but” and “but what about.”
Whatever else is true about our President-elect, he’s not someone I have any positive emotional associations with. I don’t admire his business experience, his personal choices, his intellectual character. I don’t hope that some day I’ll be able to be more like him, or that my kids will grow up in his mold.
And I recognize that there’s some value in this: I’ll have one concern with the new president—his policies, and how they affect the people and places I love. I’ll be a lot more clear-eyed than I’ve been in the past 8 years. I hope I’ll be a lot more politically effective as a result.