A winning smile, a quick wit, an impressive oratory and an obvious intelligence coupled with a successful career and an attractive family — this guy Barack Obama has it all. But does he? How did he get here? What kinds of experience and knowledge does he bring to the most influential job on the planet? What forms the foundations of his decision-making? What great life challenges shaped his world view, his moral underpinning, his ethical compass? What exposures to others formed his understanding of, and empathy with, the great majority of America’s 315,000,000 citizens, a vast body of countless dissimilar groups of people with very different backgrounds, perspectives, objectives, hopes, fears and dreams? Does he really get it? Does he really understand the nation that elevated him to the Oval Office? How does Barack Obama fit into America’s story?
Barack Obama is probably the least experienced president in US history, by almost every measure. Up until just four years before he became President, very few outside of Chicago had ever even heard of him. The nation’s latest war has lasted almost three times that long. Before becoming President in 2008, he had served only six years in state office and four years in national office (US Senate). A transient on the road of opportunity that others before him spent their lives making possible, he did not complete two of his mere three previous office terms, and the one term he did complete was interrupted by a lengthy unsuccessful run for another office.
1992-2004: Worked as civil rights lawyer and law professor in Chicago.
1998: Elected to Illinois state senate representing south side of Chicago.
2000: First ran for national office (US House) and lost by a huge 2-1 vote.
2002: Re-elected to Illinois state senate, but completed only half of term.
(2002-03: Adopted high-profile virulent anti-war stance about Iraq.)
2004: Elected to US Senate by 7-3 vote, but completed only 4 of 6 years.
2008: Ran for US President, and won on basis of women, youth and social media.
2009: Awarded Nobel Peace Prize, on the basis of absolutely nothing.
It was all based on “hope and change”, but everyone, including the Europeans, was hoping for their own self-serving change, and in the end everyone came up disappointed that nothing at all changed. The man he replaced by vilifying and blaming, President Bush, using other people’s money, actually accomplished far more for Obama’s claimed ancestral roots through America’s largest assault on a single disease, AIDS in Africa, in human history. In the grand scheme of things, inside America and throughout the world, the situation is indistinguishable from the day he took office. Leadership is a bitch; it’s a
demonstrated assumption of responsibility for others earned from the front through experience in the arena, not bestowed at birth as a right to scream orders to morons from the safe rear.
We are in uncharted waters with the Baby Boomer generation. In 1992, after the end of the long “Cold” War, we dropped our defenses under the first Boomer, and just ten years later were totally unprepared when attacked by a whole new opposing global ideology that “suddenly materialized”. So while new wars were waged overseas by a military struggling mightily to compensate for previously imposed weaknesses, those at home allowed the bottom to fall out of America’s finances through incompetent and negligent oversight of extremely reckless “easy money” gambling. A conservative Boomer “believer in small government” actually created whole new gigantic “intelligence” and “homeland security” bureaucracies and placed many more tens of thousands of contractors on the people’s payroll. It’s the Boomer “whack-a-mole” approach to “management”. Results are irrelevant; process is everything. “You want ME to think ahead?” So far, the Boomers have not demonstrated especially impressive strengths at the top, and it remains to be seen if any of the new challengers can rise to the occasion. But Boomer President Obama has had his chance.
Did you vote for this guy? Did you vote for this man whose name is so frequently mixed up with the world’s most hunted terrorist? Were you then enthralled by his inauguration so full of emotional symbolism? Did you do it without ever considering that he didn’t even step foot on mainland USA soil (from idyllic Hawaii) until 1979 – long after all the great civil rights battles of the previous 120 years were over? Did you consider that he was essentially an opportunistic Johnny-Come-Lately, taking full advantage of the path which others had paved for him with their blood and lives – a great struggle which he had never even witnessed before he stepped on to a manicured campus in 1979 with a minority scholarship – an “American immigrant”? Did it cause you any pause at all that he never served in the US military, much less the Peace Corps, had never filled ANY position beyond our borders, that his much touted familiarity with a foreign country was acquired between the ages of 6 and 10, not unlike millions of children of US military and foreign service personnel over the past half century?
After Columbia, it was pretty much a matter of using book-learned theory and other people’s money in local Chicago precinct politics. And suddenly this man with a winning smile makes a Kennedyesque speech in a Berlin now nicely absent the Wall and is quickly bestowed with the Nobel Peace Prize by a fawning Europe – on the basis of absolutely nothing. (And a shameless Obama actually accepted it! See Footnote #1.) The guy has even turned over matters of foreign affairs to four women who don’t know any more than he does so as to concentrate on his domestic agenda with minimum distraction. Have your “hopes for change” been realized? There is a vast difference between theory and reality, especially when you introduce actual humans into the equation, humans who don’t easily follow orders issued from the rear. Did he lead you, or did he just buy your vote? Any twit on any street corner can use other people’s money to buy votes, but only morons would follow that twit anywhere. No less than Jefferson, the man who wrote the Constitution, was the first President to discover the great incongruity between governmental theory and political reality – 210 years earlier.
Why couldn’t we have elected a man like Colin Powell for such an esteemed place in history? Powell had actually EARNED everything he accomplished, on the ground, in the trenches, up close and personal. This man was a proven leader, from the front, who had actually participated in all the great struggles and foreign wars of his lifetime, had advanced solely on his own merit in the toughest and most demanding environment. This was a man who KNEW America and its many different people, understood how to talk to them all with quiet calm measured authority, knew and understood the world beyond from the uniquely American perspective. Instead, we elected a smooth-talking celebrity instead of a straight-talking leader, as if it was all just a “reality” show contest, like selecting the prom king or queen (who promised “me” all I wanted) … to become the world’s Commander-in-Chief. And this Commander-in-Chief came steeped in a theoretical liberalism driven by privileged Baby Boomer women that had taken gigantic leaps from that of the Greatest Generation.
With no experience in labor or the military or foreign affairs, this man also has no experience in business, has never ran, much less created, a business (or anything else), never had to compete in a very aggressive business environment, been responsible for employees, meeting payrolls, paying individual and corporate federal and state and local taxes, hiring or firing workers, following an encyclopedia of government regulations, pleasing demanding corporate boards and investors and shareholders, etc.. This is an American whose level of actual responsibility for others prior to assuming his current office had been negligible to say the least. It’s all theory, with almost no personal risk, no
hands-on record, using money simply confiscated from taxpayers by unchallenged state power. It’s all about making demands of others according to some theoretical dogma, which essentially boils down to robbing Peter to pay Paul, taking it from “someone else” to give to “me” or “my group”. Even if some of his theories seem to make good sense, the absence of an actual record should give any rational person pause. If “leadership” is now based solely on “birthright entitlement”, on “celebrity popularity”, with no record of actual accomplishment on behalf of other groups, then what makes any person any better qualified than any other person to assume the highest office in the land, to make decisions on behalf of all of us, equitably and without favoritism? Many of us have spent our entire lives, for example, listening to women complain about “male dominated” industries, constantly required to accommodate those demands. Yet the nation’s biggest, most expensive and most critical industry is the “women-dominated” K-12 public school industry”, and it is also the nation’s greatest failure, and most especially for the other gender, about which not even mothers complain. Does such a record qualify a woman to become President of all of us? Or is an actual record of accomplishment on behalf of others even relevant anymore? Any decent actor can talk a good show, but does this mean that he can also write the play, build the theater, meet the payroll, deal with other actors and investors when the play bombs?
President Obama’s entire adult life in civil affairs has been almost entirely funded by taxpayers – as student, teacher, community organizer and nascent politician in a post-Cold War world in which the US can briefly impose its will unopposed. It is therefore unsurprising that his views are very heavily weighted toward socialism and against capitalism, strongly in favor of “government assisting the cooperative masses” rather than “individual accomplishment in a competitive arena”. This is a very different kind of liberalism from that of the mid-20th century represented by Jack Kennedy’s view that certain groups needed assistance to overcome imposed adversity so that they could compete freely in a vibrant society on a level playing field lightly regulated by small government. Now we have a majority of our population inexplicably believing that they are “special” people bestowed with all sorts of unearned birthright entitlements – in a democracy now only theoretically based on equality.
The contemporary view of liberalism in the US extends that earlier view much further by holding that “someone else” will take the blame, pay the bills and do the hard stuff, while manipulative big government rather than free competition will create, control and distribute wealth – ad infinitum. This is socialism; it shifts responsibility from the individual to government by fostering dependency, by holding that the masses are stupid and helpless and need an elite cadre to care for them (according to the cadre’s rules, after taking care of themselves first). It derives its power from social interest groups in opposition to business interest groups by taking advantage of the fact that, while both very potent lobbies use extensive and sophisticated propaganda, only the former can deliver votes. At the core is the difference between ‘group cooperation’ and ‘individual competition’ that begins in the earliest years of American taxpayer-funded public education. It is strongly favored by the women majority, especially urban women, and draws heavily on similar European models. It is enormously easier to control society under socialism than it is under capitalism and inevitably leads to massive “group think”. Its herd mentality thrives in superficial, self-serving, effeminate and gossipy “social media”.
Socialism was born, nurtured and promulgated in staid comfortable Europe, the altar at which American liberalism has long worshiped, but which now sees a like-minded United States as its salvation, the “someone else” now needed to keep Europe viable, the “someone else” needed to take the blame, pay the bills and do the hard stuff – a full quarter of a century after all that century-long babysitting nonsense should have ended. Thus the absurd bestowing of their esteemed “Peace” Prize on a President Obama, long before he had actually done anything, much less anything to do with peace. Three years later, he still hasn’t done anything. The real world in the arena is a lot different from the theoretical world in the classroom. Only capitalism can create wealth, and wealth is needed to generate taxes, which socialism needs to exist. Dependents don’t go anywhere and flourish; they just remain dependent and vegetate. In the end, that “someone else” becomes “me”, and “me” doesn’t know what to do, how to actually move forward, to embrace and conquer new challenges, new frontiers, to realize the full potential of a free, unfettered and vibrant society of competitive individuals – in which the best lead from the front. It’s a flawed concept. Liberalism should have stopped with Jack Kennedy. Instead, it kept pushing toward socialism, the foundation of already failed communism.
Barack Obama contributed nothing to what America is, to its long hard struggle to get here. He arrived on the scene at an opportune moment, took full advantage of all that others had put in place, grabbed the brass ring and hit the jack-pot. Happenstance placed him on the stage in a field with lesser others at just the right moment to win the popularity contest. Life for Mr. Obama has been among the easiest and least risky in his nation’s long story, and he thinks that all the “special” people should be handed what he was handed. But he doesn’t quite understand just what that requires. He thinks that America can remain a great society by simply having government redistribute what wealth that hard-working, competitive, and driven others have risked literally everything to acquire and put in place. He actually believes that the rewards of accomplishment and achievement and success in a capitalist democracy are ill-gotten gains, that such people should be penalized by taking away their rewards and giving them to those who don’t succeed so well. Taking up the mantra of Baby Boomer women, he wants “someone else” to take the blame, pay the bills, and do the hard stuff for “me”. But he has no answers for what happens when that “me” becomes that “someone else”. It’s all projected image hiding zero substance, wrapped up in unabashed European textbook socialist dogma, a lot of flowery words meaning completely different things to two very different groups of voters. It’s a lot like Slick Willy Clinton, but with less substance and ability to adjust to realities. (Both are true masters, however, of always telling their various “taker” constituencies whatever they want to hear. With Bush Junior it was a simple case of “what you see is what you get”, primarily because he wasn’t smart enough to be deceptive.)
Already we have a majority of our population believing that they are “special” people, based on absolutely nothing more than the difference at birth of one single chromosome, in a society theoretically based on “equality”. They believe that they are endowed with a wide range of birthright entitlements simply for being alive while manipulating a range of artificial devices and crutches to tip the table ever more in their favor. (See Footnote #2.) These people are rapidly redefining critical concepts like “merit”, “leadership”, “trust”, “respect”, “ethics”, “responsibility”, even “morality” – all to make life easier for “me”. Already it’s no longer what you have done for your nation, or for groups other than your own, but rather what you promise to do for yourself and your own group – simply by playing the numbers and screwing the other guy, usually while he’s still a child. Already we have become a nation of pathetically whining self-proclaimed victims all demanding ever more extreme pettiness. It’s just incredibly nauseating. The way to win in such a society is to tell all the whiners whatever they want to hear. The winner is the candidate who tells the best lies most convincingly to the largest number of whiners. That’s it. That’s all there is to it. Guys like Obama do that extremely well. Truth is irrelevant. Perception trumps reality. Image beats substance. Self-serving lobbies carry the day. For a man who thinks with logic and embraces actual truth, casting a vote in America has become a conundrum. Like more and more thinking men with each passing election, he has to keep fighting off the inescapable conclusion: “Why bother? I don’t watch ‘reality TV’, or women’s talk shows, either.”
(See “The USA Transition Campaigns”, posted separately. See also “Conversation With A Young Lady“, for a study in the responsibility inherent in leadership.)
P.S. The future is bleak indeed for American conservatives, as it has long been bleak for European conservatives. As the takers steadily grow far greater in number than the givers, conservatives are destined to be the ones who never win elections, but who are always expected to pay the bills – until they no longer can.
Footnote #1. Over the past century the Europeans have grown very accustomed to thinking of the United States as their very own trained dog-on-a-leash that exists in the world to do their constant bidding, a submissive babysitter with a lot of money to spend on their pet projects and a powerful military that will actually sacrifice the lives of its soldiers – that all comes at no cost to them. They have grown so accustomed to that arrogant “thinking” that they actually believe they have not just a right, but a vested interest, in deciding which dog trainer gets to occupy the White House. The more docile and compliant that trainer to their “enlightened” guidance, they more they “love” him. The less likely that trainer will obediently jump through all their hoops, the more they hate him. Since the vast majority of their “elitists” are leftist ideologues, they positively love the idea of a leftist American President using American taxpayer money and that powerful military to do their bidding in the world in the exact fashion they demand – while they sit safely and comfortably in their socialist utopia seeing no responsibility for themselves in the world. The Europeans also love any American president who will continue the century-long practice of spending mountains of US taxpayer money, via organizations like the UN and ridiculous anachronisms like “NATO”, that enables the Europeans to devote a far greater portion of their own taxpayers’ money to their own vote-buying socialism.
Intolerant in the extreme, they ruthlessly vilify American voters who happen to possess views that differ from their own self-serving “superior” demands. They thus are very much like whiny American women – it’s ALL about “me” and what “I” want, damned the American citizens paying the bills, taking the blame and doing the hard stuff, for “me”. The Europeans get all the rights, and America gets all the responsibility. At the root of such arrogance, of course, is that now familiar unearned “birthright entitlement” absurdity, not anything they’ve ever actually done for anyone else. It’s a sweet deal, in the pathetically delusional minds of the super-spoiled children of Europe. (And, of course, it’s solely a one-way street: Any American stupid enough to express views about the internal politics of Europeans can expect to be eviscerated by super-sensitive Europeans taking extreme offense that any “moronic outsider” would dare to “intrude into their affairs”.) America exists in the world to kiss “special” European ass – that doesn’t actually do anything, except reek.
“The Americans are so thirsty for our ‘enlightened’ approval that they can easily be bought with our cheap tokenism and endless blather.”
It never seems to dawn on these arrogant Europeans that, no matter who wins the presidential election in America, at least 60,000,000 Americans will have voted for the other candidate. That is about the same number of adult American voters – with a different view – as the entire population of Great Britain, or of France, or of Italy. That’s a really huge number of humans from every big city and tiny corner of America, from all walks of life imaginable, from all possible backgrounds, who happen to think about the world in a different way. Only a moron would ever dismiss them.
Footnote #2. There exists a contract of reciprocity between society and individual members of society based on actions, not on artificial labels of affinity. It is what the individual contributes or does not contribute to society that determines what society’s responsibilities are to the individual. There is no “special” in “equal”, and all rights guaranteed by society do come with responsibilities to society – regardless of superficial labels such as gender, race, ethnicity, etc.. “All men are created equal.” Under the US Constitution, all laws must be equally applicable to all citizens. Any civil right you claim for yourself may also be claimed by me. Any legal precedent you establish in courts of law today may also be used by anyone else later. The more petty the rights you claim for yourself, the more petty become the rights claimed by everyone else. It is NOT all about “me”; it is about “us”. For example, deference and special considerations previously granted by society to women were not based on gender, but on procreation, on a woman’s ability as a fulltime role to have and raise the healthy and educated children of both genders society needs to survive; absent that contributory role on the part of humans labeled as women, absent the requirement for deference or special considerations. Despite wide-spread delusions, the critical factor is “mother” (contribution), not “woman” (label); if you do not fulfill your role as mother, then you are just another schmuck in the arena. Hiding behind those few who actually make that critical contribution to society for your own self-serving benefit for decades past the optimal age is just a deceptive scam based on a lifestyle choice. It is just absurd to require others to pay for your own lifestyle choices.