Last night I had a dream about Barack Obama.
In the dream he was a shabby young man. He had been abandoned by his father and left to be raised by his mom’s family. His grandparents spent their life criticizing America, while basking in the wealth they had acquired. His daddy, far away in Kenya, was known for criticizing America.
One day, while sitting on a bale of hay, Barack was told by a passing hippie that Martin Luther King, Jr. had provided equal rights for all black men. Further, the hippie explained that some very rich white men had passed a law that allowed special groups of people in America to attend college at the expense of men who were a little less powerful than themselves. So off to several colleges Barack scampered. He was average in every sense of the word. Yet, on occasion he was loud.
Time passed quickly in my dream. I next saw Barack walking through one of his favorite places, a ghetto. The people in the ghetto liked to trash-talk each other in order to make themselves feel better. That was the example which he had grown up with. His Grandparents and daddy always trash-talking. He felt at home with the ghetto talk.
Yet, as he was walking through the ghetto he saw a man sitting in the corner of a rundown closed warehouse. He recognized the man as an acquaintance of his grandparents. The man had use to come to their home and complain about how unfair and evil the United States of America was. Now, the man just sat there staring vacantly into space. He was cold and shivering. He told Barack that he had not eaten in days. The man was in poor shape and Barack felt bad.
Time must have passed in my dream because I next saw Barack walking through a wealthy neighborhood. He was surrounded by several servants and police to protect him. I somehow realized that he had become president. While walking through the wealthy neighborhood he peered into the window of one rich man. President Obama looked at a list of people, and saw that the rich man was not one of his friends.
So, the President decided he would use his ample wisdom, as he saw it. He observed that the rich man was eating a piece of steak. On the table by the man’s plate was expensive silverware, including a delicately designed fork and solid carving knife. On the man’s plate was the steak and a healthy portion of peas. Above the plate was a fancy wine glass filled with wine. The man himself was well dressed while eating except that he did not wear his shoes, only slippers with socks on.
President Obama looked at the wine with great desire. Within a moment his past echoed through his mind. Zealously, he pounded on the man’s door. When it was answered he went to the dining room and chastised the rich man for eating and living with such plenty when others went without wine during their dinner. “I am the president, and I will make this right”, he declared.
Within moments he had his policemen start to collect up all of the man’s food and even his slippers. One of the President’s people whispered into his ear, “Mr. President, if you take everything the man has than you will be trash-talked by the free marketists. Go slowly and only take a little. The time will come when you can take more, and the rich man will be too weak and tired to complain.” So, the president seeing the wisdom in the deception gave new instruction to his police.
“We must not take all that he has. However, we must have him pay his fair share. Leave him his steak, but take the vegetables, as my wife would require. Do not take all his silverware, only the knife because it is solid and will last longer in a harsh environment. Leave him his slippers, but take his socks. Give me his glass of wine. We shall give all but a small portion of his goods to a friend of my grandparents so that he may eat and be warm.”
With that accomplished the president swallowed the rich man’s wine with one long slurp. “Call the press”, he demanded, “I want them to report on the generosity of America’s president.”
The entire group then proceeded back to where the old family acquaintance still sat in the corner. “His hands are freezing,” proclaimed the president to his staff and the media. “Quickly, put the socks over his hands and sew them to his sleeves so that others cannot steal them. Take the vegetables and silverware, the rich man fair-share, and place it before this poor fellow so he can eat. Retrieve a bottle of water from the trunk of my limousine so he can drink.” The media scurried off to praise the president for his great generosity and wisdom.
In my dream I flashed back to the house of the rich man. A friend had arrived and was seated at, the now less-rich man’s, table. “The man is a fool”, I overheard the rich man say, “he left my fork and steak, but nothing with which to cut it. It is nearly impossible to eat. Also, I have no socks to wear with my shoes, please go out and find me both new socks and a sharp knife?”
His friend quickly left to get the things which his companion had asked for. As he passed an old warehouse he heard swearing from a dark corner. Although weary of the neighborhood he felt he should investigate. In the shadows he found a man cursing in anger. He immediately recognized the quality of the socks on the man’s hands. Then he spotted his friend’s expensive knife on the ground beside an empty plate, in the middle of vegetables spilled all about. “What are you swearing about” he asked the stranger?
“The son of an old family friend decided to help me out,” the man explained. “However, it does not matter what great position he holds, he is not very bright. He brought me food and clothing which he said was my fair share of a rich man’s wealth. He gave me a plate of peas and nothing but a knife to eat them. I was unable to even pick up the peas with my fingers, because he bound my hands up in these old socks. When I attempted to tip the plate so the food could slide into my mouth the whole thing spilled on the ground. When I went to drink the water it was frozen from the cold. I am now hungrier because I have been tempted. The man is not very bright at all.”