The President of the elite

By Tom Quiner

I have just completed writing a musical called “The Pope of the People.” It covers John Paul II’s ( JP2) first ten years as Pope (click the icon on the right for more info).

What was striking about this man was the way he connected with ordinary people. I talked with a local priest, Monsignor Frank Bognanno, who was with the Pope when he came to Des Moines.  He was struck by the Pope’s connection with the Iowa people when he came to the Irish Settlement (his parish at the time) and Living History Farms in 1979. He was struck by the Pope’s love of the land. He was struck by the simple humbleness of this man from Poland.

The Pope is one of the most powerful men in the world.

The President of the United States is one of the most powerful men in the world, too.

I can’t help but contrast two powerful men on this night of an important American election.

President Obama does not relate to ordinary people. He comes across as being above us.

He revealed a lot on the campaign trail in 2008 with this comment when he thought no one was recording it:

“And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

We’re “them.” He makes it clear he’s not one of “us.” He’s not a President of the people.

If we’re part of the Tea Party movement, we’re racist.

If we’re concerned about the Federal Government’s inability or unwillingness to enforce immigration laws in Arizona and we pass tough state laws to compensate, we’re racists.

The President and the Speaker and the Majority Leader told us we’d like Obamacare once we learned what’s in it. We hated it before it was passed. We told the President we hated it. They passed it anyway. As we learn more about it, we hate it even more.

The President and the Speaker and the Majority Leader ignore our feelings. They know better.

The President today characterized those who disagree the President and the Speaker and the Majority Leader as “enemies.” We are the President’s enemies. He told us so.

There is only one thing left to do, and that is to vote against the President’s and the Majority Leader’s and the Speaker’s agenda.

They don’t speak for us.

Our President has made it very clear: he’s not the President of the people. He is the President of the elite.