By being a basically decent person (and bipartisan to a fault) the president has made it very difficult for his most vocal opponents to explain their intense hatred of him. There's only one way for him to reach these people: He's got to bring the evil.
It may have been brought to your attention by now that a certain segment of our country—mainly in the Midwest and the South—think that you are a bad, no good, evil man, bent on destroying our country; or, as Bill Moyers so aptly summarized their feelings about you the other night on his show, they think you are “a black nationalist from Kenya smuggled into the United States to kill Sarah Palin's baby.”. The unfortunate thing about this is, of course, that this isn’t an adequate definition of you at all. You seem to be a decent man, not some kind of scheming pawn of some ingenious reptilian new world order plot. Not only do you seem to be a decent man, but you also seem to be a political pragmatist. You’ve conducted yourself reasonably since you’ve been in office, and have gone about instituting your policies in a reasonable fashion, seeking consensus almost to a fault.
Yet these people are still fuming. I think I have a solution to deactivating some of their antipathy: You need to do something evil.
It’s just that there’s nothing very sexy or insidious about healthcare reform or addresses to school children. Once you get past the hyperbole and down to brass tacks, one of these issues is really wonky (healthcare) and the other is silly (school addresses). These people think you’re a tyrant, Mr. Obama. They want you to come after their guns, force them to get down on a prayer mat and face Mecca, or to insist that every American turn their basement into a gay disco once a month. They expect you to force their children into some kind of Hitler Youth/Acorn hybrid. They want to hate you in a really bad way, and you’re selfishly not making it easy on them. You’re forcing them to make so many silly things up about you, when all you really need to do is to commit some kind of small atrocity. Do something evil, Mr. President, just one thing, and give these unhappy people a cathartic experience. They’ll be able to say, ‘see? We told you!’ and we’ll say, ‘well, you’ve got a point. We agree with President Obama on healthcare and Cap-and-Trade, but he sure did drown a bag full of puppies in the Potomac.'
These people need to let off some steam. Hell, maybe after you commit your one time despicable act, they’d even be willing to sit down and talk issues (or at least go back to their day-to-day lives watching police procedurals and listening to talk radio). You’re stubbornly not giving them any red meat, Mr. President, and these dogs are hungry. They don’t like having to make all of this stuff up. Creativity is hard, and blind hatred is so easy. Insist that every American put one of those little Chik-Filets car finder thingy’s on their car antennae. Put Spike Lee on money. Smack John Boehner across the face. Take on a few more wives. If you don’t like any of my suggestions, I’m sure you could enlist the writing staff of The Onion, The Daily Show, or The Colbert report to concoct something even more outrageous.
The time for action is now. Get fired up about satisfying this deep need of a certain portion of the population. Or, if you prefer, just continue to let the wingnuts control the conversation about healthcare, and allow the issue to go down in flames. That way, the people who hate you with their whole being will only have to deal with you for three more years.
Whatever you choose, choose soon.