Woke up this morning, grabbed a cup and realized that have a problem: I may have been living a lie.
My wife watches Good Morning, America, which I tolerate until she heads off to work and I switch over to Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN (still an ABC-Disney production, but more my speed). Today, Bill O'Reilly of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor was being interviewed by Robin Roberts about what President Barack Obama has to do in Europe at the G20 summit, how he needs to sell his economic plan as well as his vision for Afghanistan and the ouster of the GM CEO Rick Wagoner.
As he spoke, my coffee came back up: I agreed with everything he said. After years of thinking myself a liberal, left-leaning Democrat-Independent voter, I found myself nodding in agreement with O'Reilly, slightly sickened by the thought of it. I don't want to agree with him, I want to keep my enemies where I want them.
On GM, Bill said that if companies are going to ask for tax dollars then they have to run their companies efficiently and it's up to Obama and the government to decide how that will happen.
On Afghanistan, Bill said that Obama needs to get the Europeans to understand that we're all in this together and that if they don't get behind a new push in Afghanistan to root out the resurgent Taliban and al-Qaeda, European and American targets would again be attacked. He also pointed out that the idea of removing the "War on Terror" tag is ridiculous, because it is a war on terror and if that offends someone in France, too bad. He pondered: Who will we offend, the terrorists? I agreed wholeheartedly.
He pointed out that Obama's super 66 percent approval rating came from a poll taken following a huge week on the stock market and if one were taken next week, after the recently dismal market performance, the number would be bad. He also pointed out that 62 million Americans voted against him and, while the whole country is willing to give him a few more months, many will turn against him if things don't work as he promised.
Again, I agreed.
I voted for Obama, voted for change. I believe he's doing the right things. At least, I think so since I'm not smart enough to really know how to fix the economy and neither are many of us.
Talk about being able to walk and chew gum at the same time: trying to fix the economy, including Wall Street, the banking industry, health care, two wars, the threat of terrorism, a sore lack of confidence across the globe, North Korea, China, Iran, Russia, being the first African-American president, following George W. Bush, trying to live up to every single campaign promise and, along the way, adjusting to life in a fishbowl while trying to be a regular guy who loves his kids, his wife and basketball.
Still, I agreed O'Reilly, and it makes me wonder: am I a closet conservative? Have I subconsciously been a Republican when just saying the word would have made my stomach turn? Is O'Reilly not what I thought he was, but instead a level headed and smart guy who sees things the way I do?
I just hope that he says something with which I disagree vehemently, so that I can go back to my liberal, pseudo-hippie views, comfortable in the thought that I am safe from the evils of conservative, right-wing Republicans (I think I don't even know what that means; same with left-wing, liberal Democrats).
Is O'Reilly just a smart guy and, in turn, I am a smart guy? Or is he as dumb as I am?
Do I need to come out of the closet and declare that I've been wrong all these years and am, in fact , ready to convert?
Maybe the labels I've put on so many people on both sides of the sandbox were just that, labels, judgments, characterizations, when most of us are just decent, free-thinking people with sometimes opposing views and other times taken by like-minded thought.
Gosh, I want to say I feel dirty, but I don't... just another lesson learned. Seems to be happening a lot lately