Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

Mr. Subbaraman Goes to Washington (Part 3)

This is my last blog on my trip to the White House, and I honestly debated writing this one, but the more comments I received, I realized I had to write it. I guess I was fascinated by the number of private messages (and sometimes veiled public messages) I received from people who were disappointed that I would go to “this White House.” Or the comments of – “Shame you had to go to THIS White House and had to meet that (insert derogatory slur here) Vice-President.” I guess I just can’t understand that sentiment. Most people who know me know whom I voted for in this election. That being said, I would have been honored to go to the Bush/Cheney White House even though I disagreed with much of their policy. The beauty of the United States is that we can and do disagree on the direction of our country. It adds a lot more colors to the palette of daily life. It makes our governance vibrant, and for a political junkie like me gives me fun articles to read. That being said, I mourn the loss of civility in the current discourse.

The Office of the President is not an easy one. I can’t believe that any President – no matter how loved in history – had a perfect tenure. I think it is sad that we seem to have lost respect for the Office and respect for the person in office. While I disagreed with much of the Bush/Cheney years policy-wise, I don’t believe that President Bush wished ill on the country. I can’t imagine someone running for office simply to “tank the job.” Disagreement in our political process is healthy. The current vitriol and level of insults is becoming sad. I was proud to be invited to the White House – just as anybody should be whether you voted for the President or not. It’s a symbol of our country, and it is something we should all respect and take pride in. (And yes, I am glad it worked out that President Obama was re-elected before I was invited!)