It’s Not About Treating the Office of President as a Reward
I suppose I should weigh in on the ObamaNation Spectacular! of last week. Or, or as we used to refer to it, the Inauguration of the President of the United States.
There are lots of angles here. One is, yes, it is an wonderful accomplishment that a country with a distant and racist past has elected a black man. It would have been impossible to imagine such a thing happening until the last few years. But in all honesty, this wheel was set in motion long ago: with the passage of time, it was inevitable that some young, handsome, charismatic man with a nice voice, an Ivy League sheepskin, and not much else to recommend him, would come along and successfully woo the gullible.
He’s basically JFK, 2008 edition, minus the powerful corrupt father and the pasty white skin. Oh, and the 6 years of actual Senate experience. And the military experience — Kennedy, as a leader of a PT boat in the U.S. Navy, saved a man’s life by swimming from his destroyed boat to two islands, towing the injured man behind, and was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, and a Purple Heart for his own injuries).
OK, so he’s not much like Kennedy, at all. At least in any way that matters. Sure, he can make good speeches, but in this day, does that really tell us anything about him? Bill Clinton gave good speeches too. And then he gave other good speeches, saying the complete opposite.
It was also inevitable — just like with all young politicians — that shady operators and handlers would designate Obama as a rising star at a young age, and in exchange for their cash and connections, they would use him to gain power and influence. And now it’s favor-repaying time! Line up, and no pushing, please!
Another angle, that I’m not seeing in the news quite so much, is that we do ourselves no favors when we give ourselves credit for electing someone whose list of accomplishments in public life reads “spent other people’s money implementing other people’s ideas”.
To be brutally frank, it sure looks from here like we elected this guy mostly because his skin color helps some of us feel better about the sins of the past.
Feeling better about our past is nice, but did we really need to elect a left-wing lightweight, whose biggest influences are radicals from the 60s, in order to do that? I’m not so sure.
So this non-step self-congratulation is a little strange, frankly. Unseemly, and, maybe, a little bit creepy, too. Not to mention ridiculous: this is politics, people. And unfortunately, Washington is still Washington, which is to say, it’s still filled mostly with crooks, liars, and thieves. With a young, inexperienced President now at the helm. In a world filled with new threats every day.
Yeah, what could go wrong there?
Contrast this with the level of over-the-top religious idolatry we’ve seen in the media; the glowing pictures, the overwrought prose, the naked lusting for all things Obama.
It’s more than a little weird, people. Gotta tell ya. What kind of drugs are all of you on? They must be good.
He’s a guy. He’s not Lincoln, and he’s not the Second Coming, or any other kind of religious figure.
He’s a smart man who went to Ivy League schools, yet for some reason, after graduation, threw all that away and decided to enter the sewer that is Chicago politics. This is just not done. Smart people who aren’t from here don’t go to expensive universities, and then after graduation, when it comes time to pick a spot to launch a career, say “I think Chicago is the place for me!”.
And in fact, not only could we make the argument that our self-congratulation is premature, but one could make an argument that we have actually regressed, in that the importance of ideas has been completely blown off the front page in favor of the superficial. What does Obama stand for? Besides the usual Democrat boilerplate things, like unions, regulation, anti-free-market, statist hoo-ha.
Apparently, it doesn’t really matter what he stands for, because he got elected without having to tell us.
And the invoking the name and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has got to stop. Ask yourself this: would Dr. King approve, after surveying the surreal political season just past? I have my doubts; his most famous quote was about judging people based on the content of their character instead of the color of their skin.
Can we really say this is what transpired on Nov. 4, 2008? We don’t even know anything about Obama’s character, since the media refused to dig into anything that might take the sheen off their candidate. And polling found that many who voted had no idea who they were even voting for, or what they stood for. Isn’t all this kind of embarrassing?
How is this progress? Perhaps in a Post-Modern world, where facts, logic, history, and all other forms of objective truth are trumped by “narratives”. A.k.a, “bullshiat”.
I did not vote for the man, nor would I ever vote for a person with his background, black, white, orange, or any other color. Frankly, I find the idea that his election is transformative somewhat alarming; no matter what color a man (or woman) is, and no matter how much goodwill we wish to grant them, there is still the serious question about elevating an unqualified lightweight to a position of real power. Especially in today’s world, with all the challenges that await a U.S. president.
It’s not a contest prize; it’s a job, and a damn thankless one, at that. Just ask Bush 43.
It’s pretty safe to say, I think, that never in the history of the world has a leader with fewer ideas and guiding principles been confronted with a bigger set of challenges. And I’m not real happy about it. But it is what it is. And we should move forward with eyes wide open: we elected a lightweight based on everything but his record, on a ray of hope and a promise of change, without really understanding what that might entail.
Was that a good idea? We won’t know for a while. And, even though I didn’t vote for him, I really do hope that Obama is able to bluff his way through all this, with the help of his cronies. But in the meantime, let’s chill a little bit on the anointing with the precious oils, OK?