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One Woman's Opinion

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Please, Mr. President

Mary Wakefield Buxton

by Mary Wakefield Buxton

Urbanna, Va.— I don’t suppose anyone in Washington is interested in what One Woman’s Opinion thinks? Especially our ultra-partisan president? No? Maybe?

Oh well, “Here’s goes nothing,” as Father always said before taking a leap off the top deck of our boat into frigid Georgia Bay water on family vacations while we three daughters watched in amazement and learned with every passing day what a marvel of a man he was.

I’ll speak my mind anyway. Thank goodness we Americans can still express opinions. I am ever grateful for Page 2 of the Sentinel where we come together sharing our thoughts and ideas each week.

Has anyone else noticed our President is not an especially good leader? I have a suggestion as to how he might improve his weak leadership skills.

Stop insulting Republicans, Mr. President. For five years, ever since you were first elected to lead the nation, you’ve been hurling insults at the opposition. The daily barrage of snide remarks has created (to no one’s great surprise,) a deadly, polarized, partisan atmosphere in Washington, D.C.

Not that I know much about leadership. True, I have recently helped start “Dog Friends” in Middlesex County, but that’s not much leadership experience in light of your many years of experience in community organization. But one thing I do know about leadership—leaders don’t insult the other team.

Leaders work with the other team, say nice things to them, build them up, make them feel good, and seek compromise solutions to problems. Mr. President, can’t you see your constant attacks on the minority party only make matters worse?

Of course, it’s possible that dogs are easier to work with than Republicans? That could be true, Mr. President. I haven’t met a dog yet I haven’t liked, and I can’t say that about Republicans. But, Mr. President, your behavior doesn’t make Democrats look so hot either.

The way I see it, you’re the President and when someone is elected to the highest office in the land he ought to cut out the petty partisan attacks and roll up his sleeves and make nice to the other party. We’ve seen many presidents who have done this in the past, and those leaders who moved beyond party politics and became a president to all the people are those who became the really great presidents.

You started your political career in Chicago. It could very well be politics isn’t as well-mannered in the Windy City as it is in Virginia. Maybe hurling daily insults at others is the modus operandi in Chicago? If so, city slickers ought to learn it’s not nice to make disparaging remarks to fellow Americans.

The real problem is your constant partisan attacks on the minority party has spread down from the White House and infected the rest of the nation. It brings out the worst in people. I’ve never seen such polarization. Do you realize when you speak you are only speaking to half of the population? Is this wise?

Most people realize there are at least two sides to every issue, so let’s listen to all concerns and come to a compromise. What we want is less partisanship and more genial cooperation from government leaders. Cut out the insults. Start acting like ladies and gentlemen and work together to do the job.

If Republicans think they are off the hook in blame—think again. Republicans are just as obnoxious when they are wound up on the prick of partisanship. 

Then Governor George Allen once commented he would stuff legislation down the throats of “whiney Democrats.” Such tasteless remarks are unsuited to the office of any person elected as head of a state or a nation.

So, Mr. President, stop insulting fellow Americans. Instead, give us some words of inspiration and encouragement. Bring us together on one team, just like we do with Dog Friends in Middlesex County (we work to improve the quality of life for homeless dogs). We wouldn’t think of insulting cat lovers in the county; rather we are happy to work with them.

Here’s an idea. Say nice things to the opposition. Tell the hard workers in this nation that pay so many taxes and keep this nation afloat that you greatly appreciate their efforts. Tell small businesses you are grateful they provide so many jobs to fellow Americans. Tell the religious right you admire their conservative values and strong faith that built the nation. Build the minority up, make Americans feel good, encourage them to work even harder, pay more taxes, and have an even stronger faith.

Be a statesman, Mr. President. Rise above your party and special interest groups and . . . be a president to everyone.

I’ll sign off for now, Mr. President, but please remember advice from a small town writer—a little honey beats vinegar every time. 


posted 10.16.2013

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