I often run across well-written Facebook posts that stir emotions, but today I read a piece by Craig Hardegree that went beyond and felt more like a bolt to the soul. I watched as it resonated with many in my newsfeed and I hope is to see to post reach the masses. Rather than interject more of my own opinons about the summary, other than to say I think it’s close to perfect, I’m opting to simply lay it out below, so folks can read it and judge for themselves.
Here is the Facebook post by Craig Hardegree:
Around this time last year, President Obama visited flooded areas of Louisiana. At the time of his visit, 13 deaths had already occurred; 7 trillion gallons of rain had already dropped; 24 inches of rainfall had already been measured; $15 billion in damages had already been estimated.
Evangelicals lambasted President Obama for not visiting sooner.
Yesterday, Trump visited a dry airport near the flooded areas of Texas. At the time of his visit, 16 deaths had already occurred; 11 trillion gallons of rain had already dropped; 49 inches of rainfall had already been measured; $50 billion in damages had already been estimated.
Trump didn’t hug a neck, kiss a cheek, wipe a tear. He didn’t encounter water falling from the sky or puddling upon the earth. He didn’t mention the loss of a police officer or the drowning of a family of six.
And evangelicals offered no criticism of Trump.
Because they are hypocrites.
Because they treated President Obama in the manner we would have expected racists to treat him.
In 2012, in anticipation of President Obama’s quick response to Hurricane Sandy, Trump tweeted:
“Not only giving out money, but Obama will be seen today standing in water and rain like he is a real President --- don't fall for it.” ~ October 30, 2012
“Obama is now standing in a puddle acting like a President--give me a break.” ~ October 31, 2012
Damned if he got to New Jersey too fast and actually got his feet wet; damned if he waited until water receded in Louisiana, as the governor asked him to do.
Same thing happened with regard to Libya after the “seeds of democracy” planted by Bush blossomed into harvest on President Obama’s watch.
Evangelicals excoriated President Obama for not immediately jumping in to protect the people of Libya from slaughter by Gaddafi. After getting other countries to go first with their troops and money, President Obama led from behind with air strikes. Then evangelicals eviscerated President Obama for getting involved in Libya.
Damned if he didn’t; damned if he did.
When Syria blossomed, President Obama asked congress to pass a resolution telling him what action they wanted him to take.
Because once their position was recorded by vote, they couldn’t change their position to the opposite of President Obama’s position.
They wanted to be able to damn him if he went east; damn him if he went west.
When BP’s Deepwater Horizon leaked oil into the gulf in 2010, conservatives castigated President Obama for not doing enough, naming the spill, “Obama’s Katrina.”
When President Obama had a meeting with the head of BP and impressed upon him the wisdom of paying a $20 billion dollar fine, House Republican Joe Barton openly apologized to the CEO for the “shakedown” of BP by President Obama and Rand Paul said President Obama’s criticism of the foreign company was “un-American.”
Damned if he didn’t do enough; dammed if he did too much.
And now evangelicals have the unmitigated gall and ungodly audacity to claim current criticism of Trump is “unprecedented” and the worst any previous president has had to endure.
They’ve gone from acting ugly to claiming victimhood.
From holy haters to hypocritical whiners.
When President Obama was asked about Syria’s chemical weapons, he said that was a red line in the sand – if Bashar used chemical weapons on his people, there will be "consequences.”
And there were.
After the incident was confirmed, President Obama forced Bashar to allow international teams to come in and ship out all of Syria’s chemical weapons.
President Obama followed through.
On August 8, Trump said, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”
The very next day, Kim Jong-un threatened the United States again, threatening to launch four missiles into Guam.
Trump did not meet the threat with “fire and fury.”
Yesterday, Jong-un launched a missile over Japan; Trump said the action was “threatening.”
Trump did not meet the threat with fire and fury.
In case Trump had failed to understand Jong-un was blatantly threatening the United States, last night Jong-un said the launch over Japan was a “meaningful prelude” to a strike to contain the American territory of Guam.
Trump did not meet the threat with fire and fury.
President Obama followed through on his “consequences” for Bashar crossing the red line.
Racist evangelicals, to this day, falsely say he didn’t.
Trump has not followed through on his “fire and fury” for Kim Jong-un making one more threat, even though Jong-un has humiliated Trump by slapping him in the face with three threats since.
And hypocritical evangelicals don’t care.
Because their criticisms were never about substance.
They were always about race.
Thank you to Craig Hardegree and all those who continue to share facts and perspectives which help to remind many of us that we are not alone in our outrage as we look into the face(s) of blatant and undeniable hatefulness.
The whole thing makes me feel even more gratitude towards President Obama, who breathes integrity. We may never see another American president like him again in our lifetimes. How great that we got to witness such goodness, resilience, grace and leadership. Thank you, President Obama.