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Saturday, January 16, 2016

MotivationTruth is back. We have been down for a while due to some technical difficulties I was experiencing. I think we're good to go now. So much has transpired in the months since I've posted, and I won't try to rehash.

One exciting thing I will share is that I have been given my own weekly column in the Southeast Missourian, where I freelance and am on the editorial board. This past Tuesday, January 12, was my first column. It is posted below and is also online.


Obama's Empty Chair and Sincere, Empty Tears

On Tuesday, President Obama stood before the nation and wept. He wept for the children lost to gun violence. Those who, like the Sandy Hook Elementary School students, were innocent and precious and deserved to be nurtured and protected, not gunned down. He stood at the podium in the same room as people who have lost loved ones in the cruelest of ways and announced his executive actions on gun control.

Who wouldn't understand the shedding of tears after such shedding of blood? But the second I heard his silence and saw his streaming tears, I knew what was coming: a plethora of comments about the sincerity -- or lack thereof, rather -- of the president's display of emotion: "political posturing," playing on fears," "empty tears."

One must wonder how we got to the place where tears about something that ought to choke all of us up became fodder for criticism. However we got here, whenever we got here, we've certainly arrived.

This president cannot do anything without being subjected to the scalpel conservatives across the nation wield. And I have been one of them. But as a patient's own behavior is often responsible for the condition in which he finds himself, so, too, Obama holds some responsibility for his. His penchant for being unmoved by things of incredible importance has garnered him the evil eye. No wonder his tears are deemed empty.

After announcing that the Islamic State (ISIS) had beheaded American journalist James Foley, the president of the United States returned to the golf course. While some called his golf game "bad optics," others called it unfathomable. How does one even stomach a game after someone's head has been severed from his body for all to see? Where were his tears then?

Where were his tears as we watched in horror as Planned Parenthood staff members appeared to discuss the monetary value of aborted baby body parts, all while swigging wine and indulging in salad at a restaurant? While they discussed employing "less crunchy" methods of the abortion procedure to procure "whole specimens," did he shed any tears? Did he seem even the slightest bit moved for the most innocent among us?

Unlike some, I do not doubt President Obama's sincerity as he shed tears contemplating lives lost through senseless acts of violence. Mind you, I don't agree with his use of executive actions to trample the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, and I know that not one of the actions he announced would have stopped one of the mass shootings or terrorist attacks he referenced, but I do not doubt the authenticity of his tears. His tears were real, and they reveal what he truly cares about -- what moves him to action -- just as they reveal what does not move him. But because his real tears do not lead to actions that provide real solutions, those tears are empty.

Obama's response to the deep concern Americans have about terrorism is to mock and criticize. His response to the belief that it is foolish to admit Syrian refugees without a proper vetting process is to preach to Christians about the "orphan and the widow." His response to law-abiding citizens who cling to their right to protect themselves and their families with firearms is to blow them off, using his pen and phone to override them. His response to those who want to protect the right to life, which includes, of course, the unborn, is to label them "right-wing extremists" and "radical domestic terrorists" -- all while refusing to apply the term "radical Islam" to the ideology espoused by avowed radical Islamic State terrorists.

Make no mistake: His tears were real. We should all cry as we think of those first-graders whose time on this earth was the blink of an eye. We need to cry, too, for efforts to infringe on our right to arm ourselves and protect such children. We need to cry for those who are never given a chance to be born and whose bodies are not even respected after that chance is terminated. Instead, Obama cries for things that don't offer solutions. He cries for gun control. He cries for law-abiding Muslims he believes will be mistreated, without evidence that this is prevalent. He cries for climate control, which, unbelievably, he deems the greatest threat we face. He cries empty -- albeit, sincere -- tears.

Tonight, during his State of the Union address, Obama will leave one seat empty in Michelle Obama's guest box to represent those lost to gun violence -- "to honor their memory" and send a gun control message to Congress. His empty chair this Tuesday and his empty, sincere tears last Tuesday reveal his agenda, which is empty of anything that will solve the problems we face. But they do reveal who he sincerely is -- both what he values and what he does not.

Adrienne Ross is an editor, writer, public speaker, former teacher and coach, Southeast Missourian editorial board member, and owner of Adrienne Ross Communications. She has been a speaker and panelist at churches, education forums, youth gatherings, school assemblies, and political events, and has written for politicians, public figures, newspapers, and websites. Adrienne hosts an online radio show, The Right Voice, which covers politics and national and global news. She has been interviewed on radio, television, and online about topics such as education, politics, race, and faith.


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