Location, Location, Location

I have no problem with presidents taking vacations. With modern communications technology, no president is out of touch with world events or incapable of fulfilling the mandates of the office, no matter where he may be. Therefore, I don’t criticize President Obama for taking a vacation at this time, particularly in the last part of August when Congress is in recess. But if he is not out of touch with the world at large, his choice of vacation spots reveals a different kind of “out of touch.”

Martha’s Vineyard, I’m sure, is very nice. I’ve heard it is; I’ve never been there. One reason I’ve never been there is probably because I’m not a fabulously rich liberal. The Vineyard is one of the playgrounds of the super rich, probably 90% of whom agree with Obama’s policies. That’s why when a news report said a crowd he met there wasn’t the least bit critical of him, but showed adoration instead, I was not surprised. He’s with his people; he’s in his element.

Again, he has every right to take his vacation wherever he chooses, but the choice of Martha’s Vineyard, at a time when he is calling for shared sacrifice from all Americans, is more than a little tone deaf.

Reagan usually went to his ranch outside Santa Barbara, where he cut underbrush and rode his horses. Bush had his ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he retreated for vacations. The media hated that place; it was in the middle of nowhere, with no amenities. The down-home, everyman tastes of those two presidents contrast rather sharply with the expensive tastes of the White House’s current occupant.

So, President Obama, enjoy your vacation. Just don’t be surprised if some people don’t understand your vacation choice. You know how unreasonable we are in the sticks. We’re always clinging to our religion and our guns, and we’re suspicious of anyone different than we are. Those were your words, by the way, another indication of how out of touch you might be.

Personally, I don’t own a gun, and I welcome people of all ethnic backgrounds because we are all made in God’s image. As for clinging to religion, I have to modify that also—“clinging” implies someone who is fearful and hangs on to tradition for safety’s sake. My religious faith is not a matter of fearful clinging; it’s a heartfelt devotion to the One who ransomed me from sin, death, and damnation. I’m eternally grateful.

Vacations are great. Really. And I think fewer of your fellow citizens would be critical of yours if you had any inkling of what life is like in what the elites call “flyover country.” Get acquainted. There are some reasonable people out here. Try a genuine listening tour sometime rather than a series of photo ops. Be willing to take criticism seriously instead of dismissing it outright. You might be surprised what you can learn.