Racist, misogynist, bigot, megalomaniac and other labels are far too easy to pin on politicians. Notwithstanding the Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln had a history of racist rhetoric. President Thomas Jefferson was an unapologetic slave owner. President Grover Cleveland had a child out of wedlock. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had an open-secret mistress. President John F. Kennedy was, well, sexually active. And President Bill Clinton — you get the idea.
Is there any question about the size of the egos of those who achieve the highest office? You could make the case that President Barack Obama considered himself the smartest person in the room and, because he said it, it had to be right. Nevertheless, great things were accomplished by our duly elected chief executives despite labels, rightly or wrongly, earned.
Today you can hang a lot of labels on our president, but he may deserve a bit of credit: for reducing the burden of overregulation, for reducing unemployment to record-low levels, for reducing the burden of taxes on all but 1 percent of Americans and making our businesses more competitive. Also for reasserting our primacy in the U.N. and NATO (exacting more fiscal responsibility by member nations), for extricating us from flawed/unbalanced international treaties and agreements, for attempting to create a fair and balanced playing field for U.S. business, and for orchestrating the best earnings and stock market performance since the 1950s.
My only thought here is that labels are easy. But don’t let them overshadow the reality of a nation moving forward, maybe even to being great again.