Wounding the Cause of Liberty

untitledIt’s being reported that President Obama boarded Marine One (the presidential helicopter) Friday morning, that he was saluted by a member of the United States Marine Corps, and that he failed to return the salute. It is also reported that the president climbed out of the helicopter a moment later to shake hands with the marine and to engage in a brief conversation.

Within moments (thanks to Twitter and members of the White House press pool), the event was reported online. It’s especially popular among the political adversaries of the president as well as those who just don’t like him.

On Thursday of last week the Turkish prime minister visited the White House.  When it began to rain, Obama asked nearby marines to help out by holding umbrellas over his head and that of the visiting dignitary. As with today’s episode, it was quickly reported as a sign that Barack Obama is not respectful to the military or that he expects special treatment. This is being done despite the fact that previous presidents have been accorded the same privilege.

In the long run, and in view of the genuine threats to our constitutionally-guaranteed rights, these incidents mean absolutely nothing. When liberty-minded citizens harp on such minor realities (“non-issues”) we actually do terrible damage to the political cause for which we stand. We look silly. We come off as hyper-critical, ridiculous, even childish–and the mainstream press is given another full quiver of arrows to aim at the genuine concerns of constitutionalists.  In other words, the silliness of trivial issues is pasted right on top of the critical issues for which we’re arguing. In the end, we shoot ourselves in the foot by pursuing the non-issues of presidential salutes and umbrellas. We are written off as kooks who have no respectable agenda rather than patriotic Americans who want the Constitution to be preserved for the benefit of all.

untitledIf you want to know exactly what I think about the politics of Barack Obama, you don’t have far to go. This blog is laden with very specific charges, along with explanations in profound detail. I believe I have legitimate concerns and I post those concerns in order to help others see the dangers that are inherent in the policies of our current government. The political vision and the economic goals of Barack Obama have no stronger opponent than me. Count me among the loyal opposition–loyal to the Constitution and opposed to every threat being levied against that sacred document.

But please don’t expect me to chime in and complain every time an umbrella is held for Obama, a salute is overlooked, or a presidential comment is misunderstood. My fellow constitutionalists, our energy and influence are better invested by dedicating ourselves to the challenge of reigning in excessive government. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

We’re in troublesome waters. The ship of freedom is in danger of sinking. We have no time to argue over the location of deck chairs or the music being played as the vessel goes down.

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5 comments on “Wounding the Cause of Liberty

  1. Keith Wagner says:

    Dr Switzer,
    I agree entirely. As I try to understand the issues that you raise, many of which go against the grain of my life, I often get distracted by the mundane human events issues blown out of proportion that become Fox News lead stories and right wing propaganda and blur the issues that really matter. I have a friend in Chicago who sends me items from right wing websites that I don’t even open because it is so ridiculous. I have Knights of Columbus brothers who do the same. Pretty soon, I ignore everything and say, I support Obama AGAINST what is said against him. So much right wing ‘news’ focus on these events. Thank you so much for clarifying things for me so I can begin to see the forest AND the trees.

  2. Richards, Nick L. (HII-Ingalls) says:

    Good one. As a Chief of Staff I once worked for would comment: “gentlemen, we seem to be pole vaulting over mouse shit this morning.”

  3. Sam Owens says:

    John, like you I am frustrated to no end with people on the right who criticize the President for these non-issues, giving the left plenty of fodder to distract the low-information crowd from the real failures of this administration. I have and will continue to confront people who post this crap on Facebook and let them know that they are actually HELPING the President get his destructive agenda passed through their silly and thoughtless actions. Thank you for articulating and framing it properly for wide dissemination.

  4. Patrick says:

    John, this is well said. Even though I am on the “other” side I applaud what you are saying here. Stay away from attacks on the man and focus on the issues. Thanks for saying much better than I what I believe.

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