I've been critical of the administration I supported and helped vote into the White House. Just review my past "Please Kill Me" posts. The evidence of my cynicism is all there.
But the other night a very wise man of color, and large of stature I might add, and I only mention this because of who he is and his job said, "I'm grabbing my mop and my broom and we're scrubbing the floors and trying to neaten things up."
That single line pounded me in the gut and brought me straight back to earth. I quickly realized this man was making an important point. So, I listened closely to what he had to say.
"Instead of standing on the sidelines," he continued, "why don't you grab a mop?" Well, if this man could grab a mop, was it beneath me to grab a mop? Because the man talking to me was the President of the United States of America.
Obama NYC Get a Mop 10/20/09 Photo by: Neil Mack
This wasn't over the phone or in some letter or on the television machine. Mr. Obama exhorted me in person. I don't think I have to tell you; I grabbed a mop.
And, lest you think I'm a sucker for a charismatic cult-of-personality, hear me out. I should say, hear him out for yourself. I'm not going to agree with everything our current President says or does, but I have to agree with him that it's time to grab a mop. Allow me to elucidate.
Speculation on the left has implied that Mr. Obama is going too slow or hasn't shown enough backbone or is in the pocket of Big Greed. To my face, he proceeded to disabuse me of that notion.
I had my questions. Are you in favor of real health care reform? Do you know we need to create jobs, jobs that will really contribute to our economic stability? Are you going to close Guantanamo? Do you believe war should be a last resort and are you being thoughtful about handling the ones we're currently fighting? Do you hear my anger and frustration over pseudo-capitalism and egregious corporate welfare? Can't we build a clean renewable energy system that will benefit us in priceless ways?