Charlotte Hays

If you liked your holidays, one reason may have been that President Obama was on the golf course and not behind the teleprompter.

Like Pat Sajak—who famously tweeted that he never thought he’d find somebody else’s vacation so relaxing—I have loved every minute of President Obama’s Hawaiian idyll. In fact, if pictures of our glum president are any indicator, I enjoyed his holiday more than he did.

For a mere $3.2 million in Air Force One flying time, a grateful nation purchased for itself a much-needed respite from campaign-style rhetoric, accusations against the minority party, bogus promises, and diktats. It was a bargain, but we can’t expect this faux Eisenhower era sense of peace and good will to last for many more days.

After all, he's coming baaack. When he does, we can count on one thing: the president will continue to make good on the one promise that he has never forgotten--the promise of endless turmoil. Of course, the promise wasn’t stated quite this boldly, and it was the first lady Michelle Obama, not the president, who gave the most perfect formulation of this promise, when she famously said this:

“Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

In other words, the citizens must become mobilized to promote the president’s promised transformation of the United States.Never mind that our divisions have been accentuated and exploited, or that we are now a far more cynical nation than we were just five years ago, many of us, people who are by no means uninformed about American history and traditions, yearn to return to our lives as usual. “Lives as usual”—how sweet the sound; it almost could be the credo for an earlier—say, circa 2008--America. What Mrs. Obama was advocating was a hyper-politicized populace, ever pushing for an agenda. She got it—or, at least, a larger portion of us than ever before eschew normal lives to believe that in politics they find the meaning of their own lives.


Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.