‘Ex-presidents not required to engage in political or benevolent activities’


To the Editor:

Of all the patently ridiculous and pathetic slurs aimed at former president Obama, John Cervone has reached a new level of inanity. After ranting about Obama’s record while in office, Cervone criticized the retirement activities of the ex-President (and now private citizen). 

Cervone apparently thinks it’s the duty of the former executive to devote his time and finances to enable poorer citizens to share his travels. Cervone states Obama should ask Ferguson, Missouri, residents as well as Chicago denizens to enjoy a paid vacation with the former chief executive and his family in exotic retreats, much like every other former president has done. I’m sure we all recall George W. Bush offering hospitality to New Orleans flood victims at his Texas ranch, or extending invitations to the homeless to witness free of charge a Texas baseball game. Who can tally the many children Richard Nixon brought to his estate to share his pool while he taught ethics lessons?

 Ex-presidents are not required to engage in political or benevolent activities. George Bush is a prime example. Despite his wealth, he is content to stay at home painting pictures of his toes, rather than use his prestige for the common good. Jimmy Carter is the opposite, devoting his time and energy to building homes for the needy. Bill Clinton raises money for worthy causes. Right now Obama is taking a well-deserved vacation with his family, away from the media’s prying eyes (as much as possible) before he begins the next phase of his life. After all, he never took every weekend off to play golf, nor did he jet off to Florida at every opportunity, but stayed for the most part in Washington doing the job he was paid to do. The funny thing (or sad, when you consider it) is many voters are glad Trump lied about how little golf he would play as president. The more time he spends on the links, the less time he has to throw a monkey wrench into social problems and foreign affairs.

Mr. Cervone may find little solace in Obama’s strong work ethic, nor would he agree with the many positive things Obama achieved despite Republican intransigence. But he must admit scandals in the eight-year Obama White House pale in comparison to what the Trump administration has brewed in a few short months. We have a man who warned that Hillary’s election would mean a president being under investigation by the FBI, which is true but for a different subject. He embraces our enemies and expresses distaste for our friends. He warned about the security of Hillary’s email server, then personally gave classified information to the Russians (thus skipping the need for the middle-man electronic hacker).

But you know, Mr. Cervone, Obama isn’t rich like most other presidents. Doubtless he will become wealthy once he writes his memoirs, but he may never attain, let alone approach, the wealth of our current president, a man who regularly flew to his private golf club in Florida, despite the financial hardship his travels imposed on businesses that had to shut down when he was in the area. At least Obama has shown he appreciates what those who struggle daily to survive must bear.

Unfortunately, the present office-holder has no concern beyond lip service for those below his regal status. Everything he has proposed officially is in direct conflict with campaign promises. He promised better and cheaper health care but instead, under his Trumpcare, millions will lose the[r present coverage – all so the rich (including Trump) will get a tax break. He guaranteed fair and equal treatment for everyone regardless of sexual orientation, but has totally ignored gay issues. He promised to appoint the best and brightest to his administration but instead filled positions with money-launderers, incompetents and/or inexperienced hacks, many of whom want to abolish the department they “lead.”

You can bet that once the present office-holder deserts his post (soon, it is hoped), not one penny of his considerable fortune will be spent to benefit the poor. Not one welfare recipient will walk a Trump fairway although they definitely will be allowed to lose money in a Trump casino (though not in a VIP room). And people like Mr. Cervone will still find excuses to rationalize why it’s OK for him to act that way. After all, unlike Obama, he’s entitled.

Barry Nordin



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