President Obama is in town hobnobbing with elected officials and a few [successful] business owners, who are more than happy to bolster Obama’s image to Pennsylvanians. The same Pennsylvanians he accused of clinging to guns and religion during his campaign. The local (and national) press is all over the story while our police are out in full force blocking off roads to make sure the President can safely make it to Allentown MetalWorks and Lehigh Carbon Community College. (Incidentally, if that’s where all the cops are, then who is arresting the criminals? It’s a heyday for the gangs in downtown Allentown I guess.) Being a staunch Independent voter with conservative sympathies, the President’s visit means little to me. That is, until it screws up my plans.
Weeks ago, I made a very important appointment with a medical professional, who is responsible for monitoring several serious, chronic conditions from which I suffer. When I made my appointment, I had no idea President Obama was going to visit the Lehigh Valley (and I’m pretty sure he didn’t know either). I checked road conditions (all clear), left early, and still found myself stuck in traffic so bad that it took me 25 minutes to move 1/10 of a mile. Needless to say, I missed my appointment and called the office crying with frustration to cancel. Being the kind dears that they are, they rescheduled my appointment grumbling about how all their patients are having difficulty making it into the office due to traffic conditions. Great. People with chronic conditions unable to get medical care—could this be a sign of things to come under Obama care?
Fortunately, I was able to vent about all this to my out-of-work, yet college-degreed friend Shari as she sat home applying for jobs online. (In fact, visit her Examiner site to throw a few extra cents her way, and while you’re at it, order a beautifully decorated cake from her at Sweets & S’Morsels Cakery) She complained about traffic, too, and wanted to know why she wasn’t invited to meet the President since she is the unemployed. I have no idea, since that is who he is to address.
While this visit is supposed to be a great honor for Allentown and the surrounding areas (and I suppose it is), it is also costing our area a lot of money—overtime hours for police, money and time wasted for people trying to get to appointments, small business owners who won’t have customers due to our frozen roadways, and of course, the fee for events. In fact, I’d like to send President Obama a bill for $100—for gas used, time wasted, and the cost of the missed appointment—though I’d doubt I’ll ever see the money. The truth is no one is going to flock to Allentown when President Obama leaves, just because he’s been here. He isn’t helping our economy; he’s just getting in our way as we try to go about our normal lives—far removed from those of elected officials.
If the President really wants to know what it’s like for those of us living day-to-day, maybe he should talk to my friend, Shari, explain to a receptionist why he can’t make an important appointment as he tries to hold in the tears, or drive in the traffic jam of his own making. Perhaps instead of meeting with Allentown’s mayor, he should try slumming it with the folks—that is, if we have time to take off work in this harsh economic climate.
The only upside to this–at least I don’t have to hear about Tiger Woods and his alleged extra-marital affairs for a few hours.