On Maturity and Patience: Americans Need to Grow Up


Republicans aren’t the only ones who aren’t happy with President Obama and the policies that he and the Democrats have enacted during his tenure over the past two years.  A share of Democrats are unhappy, as well.

Comedian Jon Stewart joined the ranks of those who voted for Obama and has found himself disappointed with the ensuing administration:

“I think people feel a disappointment in that there was a sense that Jesus will walk on water and now you are looking at it like, ‘Oh look at that, he’s just treading water’ … I thought he’d do a better job,” said Stewart.

Of course there’s going to be inherent disappointment when you imagine the man you helped elect to the secular office of president as having some spiritual likeness to the Messiah.  Obama’s just a man, just a politician.  Nothing more or less.  It’s not Obama’s fault that Stewart had his expectations grossly out of proportion with reality; that’s Stewart’s.

But, I think the general idea of Stewart’s is one that exemplifies a major issue with all Americans right now.

We’ve become a society full of people without any patience.  We can’t wait for anything to develop – or to recover.  We refuse to see the big picture anymore, instead focusing only on the here-and-now and why things don’t change with the miraculous snap of the fingers or the election of someone new.  Since virtually everything we could ever want is available to us in the blink of an eye online, our collective brains have devolved back into little children demanding whatever it is we want at that moment from our parents without any concept of understanding just what it is we’re asking of them or how difficult or impossible it may be for them to get it for us in that instant.

Andrew Sullivan has likened Obama to the one adult in the room surrounded by a bunch of children: the Republicans in Congress.  But, I think we’re all the children.  We all have this to blame.  At whom else can we point the blame?

We say we want change every two to four years — basically every election it seems — because the ones we elected didn’t do what they said they were going to do.  So we elect the people from the other party because they say they’ll right the ship.  Of course, after two years, since no miracle has happened and we’re still the impatient children who doesn’t understand the concepts of time and patience, we switch the lineup again – expecting yet another miracle, that changing the guard itself will change reality in the blink of an eye.  And then we blame the politicians and blame the other party and blame the system again and again.  Rinse and repeat.

But, we’re the ones to blame.

I am guilty of being a child in this game, too.  I’m impatient.  I’m stubborn.  I’m argumentative.  I think I have answers like everyone else.  I don’t always act my age.  We can’t just stomp our feet and throw a temper tantrum because things aren’t going the way we want them to anymore.  We can’t indulge our own ignorance of the complexities of life and how sometimes it takes much longer to get what we want than we’d like.  Or that sometimes we just don’t always get what we want – ever.

It’s time for us to grow up.

Image courtesy of BabyDinosaur’s Flickr Photostream.



  1. The only person who is to blame for the disappointment on the left is Barack Obama. He was the one who ran a vapid campaign of Hope and Change. He rode that wave of false optimism all the way to the White House and never looked back. What kind of policy is that?

    Sure all lot of Americans swallowed it hook, line and sinker. It was doomed to failure from the start because he did NOT act like an adult and tell the American people the truth about how he was going to govern.

    If I walk into a listing appointment and give the seller hope (worse, sell him on the idea that I am super special) and that I can get 2 Million for his house when it’s only worth 1.5 the I am the one who is responsible for giving the seller false hope. The seller is just hanging on to the hope. Andrew Sullivan doesn’t know what he’s talking about, I’ve been alive for 10 presidents and I haven’t seen one behave more juvenile than our current one.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryan Mason, ランス・ヘンダースタイン. ランス・ヘンダースタイン said: Exactly. RT @masonry: On Maturity and Patience: Americans Need to Grow Up http://ow.ly/3dHDS […]

  3. […] it to those who blame President Obama everything that’s going wrong in our country today. Americans in general have become extraordinarily impatient and short-sighted, with a side of selecti…. For Republicans, that means forgetting all about President George W. Bush’s shortcomings and […]

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