I’ve sent out a few emotionally charged political missives here before, but for the most part, I’ve really held back, mostly because I don’t know the ideologies of the people who subscribe to this blog and as passionate as I can be about politics, I don’t want to offend anyone who is simply here for the gross oversharing and occasional hilarity.
However, my Facebook newsfeed is currently littered with photos like this one, and my sensibilities are so affronted that I can no longer censor myself:
The argument photos like this (along with the people sharing them all over the damn Internet) seek to make is that Obama’s use of the Secret Service makes his stance on gun control a grand hypocrisy. “Look at this guy,” these photos say. “He’s being protected by all these guns and yet he doesn’t want us to have free, unchecked access to semi-automatic weapons. Who does he think he is?”
Who does he think he is? Oh, maybe the President of the United States, leader of the free world? Because that’s who he is, in case you’ve been asleep or in a state of mind-melting denial since November 8th of last year.
Unfortunately, the argument that he is the President (and therefore in need of Secret Service protection) isn’t cutting it. Presidents are just normal men – mere mortals just like us! What makes their safety more important than the safety of all of the rest of us? Why is the President any different than me? Where is my team of personal security officers? Where are their guns? How dare Obama benefit from the protection of guns while he tries to deny access to these same magical safety ensurers to people across the county! He is an elected official who ran for this office – he asked for this!
Here is the giant flaw in this “logic” (aside from the other glaring flaw that there is not now, nor was there ever, any push by Obama to TAKE ALL THE GUNS):
I think I am pretty great. In fact, I think I am so great that sometimes I write entire blog entries about my disgusting hair and expect people who have never met me in person to find that fascinating. Like most people my age, I think I am the center of the universe. However, even I, with all my delusions of grandeur, cannot with a straight face claim the notoriety of the President of the United States. We are both human beings living in America, but that’s about all I, or anyone else, can say we’ve got in common. I am a twenty-something white woman whose claims to fame are having 24 blog followers and once getting a retweet from April Winchell of Regretsy. I have never had my life threatened on a national stage. I’d be willing to bet that most people gleefully pointing out Obama’s Secret Service “hypocrisy” on their tumblrs haven’t experienced that particular joy either. Barack Obama is the world-famous first black president of a country still so full of hateful racists that he receives 30 death threats a day (FYI: his presidency has seen a 400% increase in death threats over those of prior Commanders in Chief).
Whatever your politics, not even we “common men,” no matter how big our egos, need as much protection as someone with an incredibly high profile who is viscerally hated by 50% of the people in the country in which he lives.
Denying the absolute necessity of the firearm protection of President Obama because he is an elected official who “knew what he was getting into” is like begrudging astronauts their use of space suits because they chose to climb into rockets and get blasted into space, and their choice shouldn’t impact your personal access to moon boots. I think the only reason why we don’t see people wringing their hands over this (obviously ridiculous) made-up issue is that no white people are terrified that the government is trying to take their rocket fuel. If they were, we’d be hearing: “Sorry guys. I know you went through hell to become an elite in your very specialized field, but that was your choice and it doesn’t make you any more entitled to UV radiation protection or extra oxygen than the rest of us who chose to just stay home and post bitchy photos of the universe on our Facebook profiles.”
Seriously. The idiocy astounds.
(End rant. I’ll be back to the regularly scheduled updates on my bodily functions and book shelf tomorrow.)