Obama and Circumstance

One of many articles detailing Obama’s controversial presence at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony.

There are lots of thoughts on this whole issue.  
From the beginning, I’ve sided with those – students and others – who have protested the school’s decision to award Obama an honorary degree and have him give the commencement address.  I disagree with the decision to give him an honorary degree because he hasn’t really done anything.  I mean, there are plenty of lawyers and teachers out there, and they don’t get honorary degrees.  And while being elected president is a noteworthy thing, it seems like an inadequate thing to merit the honorary degree.  I find it ironic that my alma mater, Arizona State University, would be the one to point this out.   I give them huge kudos for not cowing to public pressure and the sensationalized nature of this presidency, Huffington’s disagreement not withstanding.
I appreciate Obama’s comments towards a more civilized discussion on the issue of abortion, particularly.  However it’s ultimately naive.  We’re not talking about whether or not we like the newly designed US currency, or Coke vs. Pepsi.  The issue is the definition of human life and when that begins.  If there is a more fundamental issue that we could be divided in our opinion on, I’m not sure what it is.  If there is an issue that is more crucial for the direction of our country and the world at large, I’m not sure what it is.  Yes, emotions are going to run high.  No, those who are ardently pro-choice are not going to quit demonizing anyone who opposes them.  And tragically, those who are pro-life will continue to engage in similar tactics, theological arguments against such behavior notwithstanding.  I find it disingenuous to have such a uniformly extremist voting record on this issue, and yet be calling for everyone to just try and get along. Anybody can paint a nice picture of everyone getting along.  Obama’s voting record on the issue of abortion and human life makes it clear that he feels there is very little middle ground to be had.  

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