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Dr. Cheryl Pappas Headshot

Gimme, Gimme (Another Four Years and I'll Stand With You)

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New York has just legalized gay marriage, while the dust settles on President Obama's NYC efforts to garner money and votes from the gay community.

At a LGBT fundraiser, Obama once again displayed his lack of support for gay marriage by not mentioning it. As transparent as his campaign strategy is, it is apparently clever enough to collect an audience of New Yorkers who are each willing to shell out $1250 for hopeless hype. Or is this simply a cheap price for being in the same room with America's top celebrity?

The fundraising show was a re-run from the original drama/hysteria of almost four years ago. Minus the slogan of HOPE, the gig is to show up and recite roughly the same script in an effort to gain money and votes from an audience you just don't have any heart for.

A handful of people within this audience of $1250 contributors deigned to shout out, "marriage!" to which Obama gave a standard empty response that he knew "this was coming" and "I hear you." If he knew this was coming, why didn't he bother to say something? The overused "I hear you" apparently means, "stop."

I wonder how Obama would feel if, instead of gay people, black people were still today, in 2011, asked to be "patient" while they remained outside the rights and laws that others enjoy in America. It wasn't so long ago when this was shamefully the case.

Psychologically, there is a split in Obama's thinking. In light of his not yet standing with the gays for their rights, his clueless appeal the other night in New York appears, well, embarrassing. I quote: "If you will devote your time and energies to this campaign one more time... I'll be standing there right with you."

Give me four more years and I promise...

There are those who will tell you he's done much to advance the rights of gays, that he is the first "gay" President. Why? Because the gays are this moment's "issue."

There are others who say it's not about him; the "issue" is political. Of course, he alone does not run the country. However, to publicly state his support for freedom for gays right now is something he could do and clearly chooses not to. Would that statement bother the voters who hate or are terrified of gay people? Yes.

But history will surely remark upon this President's character. He is no giant, no adamant believer of justice for all. No matter the judicial law resume, the calculated, perfectly enunciated words on the matter of theoretical freedoms, the fog of somewhere-over-someone-else's rainbow.

Presidents are just people; people who have likes and dislikes. Only, in the case of a president, if we watch closely the disparity between words and actions, all is revealed. In the case of the president, he is our leader, so what he actually does is especially meaningful.

We live today in a social media world where words alone, no need for supporting actions, create the way a person is perceived. In other words, with the ease of public platforms, people can and do produce unquestioned fictionalized versions of who they are and what they stand for.

It is clear that people have post-traumatic stress in this country. They are receivers of impressions and believe anything told to them. We are a nation of dependent, passive people who don't want to think independently or bother with common sense. Promotional kites fly undisturbed in the sky of our society.

Some people say that unhappy former Obama voters are "whiners" when they dare to point out when this emperor stands naked before us, covering his private feelings with syllables. So we're in the era of mistaking telling the truth for whining. That's a twist.

Obama told liberal bloggers back in October that "it is pretty clear where the trend lines are going" on gay rights, neatly relegating freedom to a trend and substituting trend for caring.

He went on to say that his thoughts on the matter are "evolving." I guess you could say that there are those of us watching Obama's personal "evolving" as we would a stranger who grapples with his humanity. Not without understanding, but if we are mature, we wish him well and are just not that into his personal process. To feel this way about a President is embarrassing, especially after the positive promotion of the 2008 campaign.

Kudos to Anderson Cooper for leading the way on television with his powerful thoughts about Obama's stance on the "gay issue." And now, kudos to New York.

Let people deride those who dare to challenge and question their President. It's about democracy (as well as the economy). Let them try and knock down the credibility of those who are courageous.

Let the whining begin.

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