Politicians And Public Commentary

Barack Obama

UNITED STATES—We all have freedom of speech, but is it ever a good idea for politicians to comment on public affairs that have such decisive reactions from the American public. The verdict in the Trayvon Martin case has sparked so much outrage, to the point where protests and marches have taken place all over the country.  A bigger issue is the reaction of some politicians including President Barack Obama who have chosen to release statements about the case.

I personally do not have any issues with the President announcing his views on the case, almost indicating that many years ago, he could have been Trayvon Martin. His statements have caused uproar in the political arena as Congressman and Senators across the country have chimed in about the President’s commentary.  Some inciting that the President should have never made comments on such a decisive issue, which could spark protests across the nation.  For those pundits, protests had already taken place across the country long before the President voiced his opinion. No one person can incite a protest, that’s something that is already on the minds of many people.

I beg to ask the question, “Why should the President not comment on such issues?”  Not many people can give a legitimate answer to this question, while others would argue his commentary could cause a division in the American public.  Let’s be honest, the public is already divided when it comes to many issues.  Either you are fighting for a particular cause or against that cause.

I do believe politicians have to be careful what they say in the public sphere, as there are always watchdogs waiting and watching to decipher every single word spoken.  What’s even more alarming is the desire to use those words against the public sphere, in hopes of generating a debate or argument about something for ratings.  With the President speaking, news stations like CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and countless others went to the airwaves to tackle the issue.

He’s a human being; he can say what he wants. He’s entitled to that right.  Granted as President, his words will be used to empower the American public, but at the same time his words could also incite rage in Americans.  We are not as open to hearing public figures comment on national matters, yet we complain and moan if we as Americans are not allowed to voice our opinions.  Double standard would you say?

Absolutely, the verdict of George Zimmerman had countless people taking to Twitter, Facebook and other national outlets to share how they felt.  So tell me why is it an issue for the President of theUnited States of Americato do the same?  It’s not! He might be held to a higher standard, than most Americans because of the position that he holds, but that does not limit his right to speak his opinion, whether you agree with him or not.

By Trevor Roberts