Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The problem with my over active sense of fairness

I've been aware of it for years: I have an over active sense of fair play. I can't tolerate cheaters, liars, self-aggrandizing braggarts, and posers. Naturally, these are the traits that define a politician. It's only normal that I find national politics and the personalities involved to be repellent and obnoxious. It's worse than just politics, though. It pervades both my work and personal lives.

Here's an example: I once worked with a software developer that had a difficult bug to find and requested my assistance. I worked on his problem and eventually resolved it. I later overheard him telling his manager that he had fixed that pesky bug. That happened 20 years ago. He popped up on my LinkedIn the other day, requesting that I approve him as a friend, or whatever they call it. I stewed it over for a few days, then decided to ignore his request. Yes, long time to hold a grudge over something that small, but I just don't want to be associated with someone I have known to be dishonest and unfair.

This personal viewpoint is why I have such a problem with the way we're taxed by our government. Unfairness abounds in the entire process. I have to spend hours and hours every year stressing over the complexity of accounting for every penny earned, saved, or lost to an organization that has not been able to balance their own books. At the end of the process, I'm rewarded with the knowledge that I have paid more tax than 95% of the country. Is it any wonder that I become livid with rage when I hear some politician telling me that I am not paying my fair share because, you see, I think I am already paying far more than my fair share.

All of this is to say that I find myself in an uncomfortable position with regards to President Obama. On the one hand, every single promise he made during his campaign was repulsive to me. Ever-larger handouts to the hands-out crowd, surrender in Iraq while on the cusp of victory, elevating the postures of vile dictators by giving them the unjustified attention that they crave, and every other far-left idea his base was clamoring for. He deliberately misrepresented statements from his competition, he gracelessly tossed aside former compatriots in the interest of political expediency, and he not only reneged one his promise to fore go campaign spending limits but exacerbated that reversal by collecting millions of dollars without any fraud controls in place whatsoever.

On the other hand, now that the election is won he is softening his stance on some of his more onerous stances. Gitmo may take awhile to close down, ostensibly because an absentee Senator could not possibly have known what he knows now. The same 16 month retreat from Iraq two years ago is still 16 months, but the thing is just about done now so that should be painless. He's extending a hand to McCain, no doubt in the hopes of The Maverick giving Harry Reid his filibuster-proof majority. So, in effect, he has moved close enough to the center to be wildly annoying to me, but not dangerous.

Here's the crux of the problem: he can't win with me. If he delivers on his campaign promises, I will be opposed to him because he is dangerously naive. But if he basically runs the same administration McCain would have and retains some decent portion of the more successful Bush policies, I will despise him as a lying cheater that succeeded by running a do-anything, say-anything campaign. In other words, for being a cheater, liar, self-aggrandizing braggart, and a poser.

That's just politics, as they say, despite Obama's promise to bring us a new kind of politics. Just another broken promise, I say. No matter what he does as President, I won't be accepting him as a friend on my LinkedIn account.