I don’t understand Barack Obama, and neither do you. To many of us he’s akin to a very likeable foreigner who speaks excellent English. I don’t mean he’s not an American. He is. But he’s from a culture that’s different than ours. His frame of reference is as different as his world view. We can be close to him, but we’ll always feel the difference. He just doesn’t think like we do. Three years into his term I don’t know if he even likes Americans.
At least Americans like me.
There are two key things about his life that alienate him from us.
The first is his uniqueness. He obviously thinks he’s special, and he is. Special in the way LeBron James, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Michael Jackson were special. All were recognized while adolescents to have some unique skill. Adults then molded their lives to further that skill. At the age of 6 Mozart was traveling around Europe performing. Le Bron James jumped from high school to the NBA and was an immediate super-star. Michael Jackson lived in a circus until he died. They never developed as adult humans. They were aimed like missiles at a goal and never allowed to make the decisions or mistakes that mold adults. Placed in a bubble they were living their adult lives as children.
Barack Obama came from a murky background of African immigrants [at least one aunt and one uncle are in the US illegally], white academics, and the radical left wing ideologies of the 60s and 70s. He was catapulted into Harvard, then Chicago as a “community organizer,” State Senator and United States Senator in a very few years. He was never anywhere long enough to leave any tracks behind. Even today his records at Harvard are sealed. Like Mozart or LeBron James he seems to have been picked and groomed to be The First Black President. Even a Nobel Peace Prize was dropped into his lap for accomplishing nothing.
He seemed bemused, but not surprised. His attitude was “what can you expect? I’m Barack Obama.”
The second part of the puzzle is derived from the first. He left no record of doing anything before he became President. No legislation bears his name either on the state or federal level. He was elected President of the Harvard Law Review yet he authored no articles in the Law Review. Or anywhere else, for that matter. He was a lawyer who never tried a case. A State Senator that voted “present.” His wife was given a make work job at hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to support her community organizer and when he was elected to the Senate she left that job. It was never refilled. It was as unreal as their lives.
Presidents are products of their previous lives. Kennedy was shaped by World War II. Johnson by the Great Depression. Nixon by the Cold War. Carter was an enlightened Southerner.
Clinton was a Governor. Eisenhower a General. We knew where each of them stood. When they gave a speech we knew their point of view and why they approached issues the way they did. Obama is different. We don’t know anything about him. He spent all of his early years in Harvard. He spent the rest of his career in ghetto politics in Chicago. When he talks to his “base” he drops his terminal g’s and sounds like Al Sharpton. When he goes on TV he’s Mr. Harvard. What is he? What does he really think? To the extent you can figure out his ideology from the mind numbing tsunami of speeches he gives it sounds like a pastiche of short pants Marxism as filtered through Chicago city government and delivered with no regard for truth or reality. Green jobs, jobs “created or saved,” tax cuts, tax increases, melting ice caps, polar bears, electric cars, “millionaires and billionaires” who make 200 k or more…….and finally “gettin’ on your walkin’ shoes” and doing whatever it was he was exhorting the crowd to do. He’s like a machine that’s rolled onto a stage, loaded with a disc, and out comes a beautiful speech. It may be the same speech he gave a week earlier but repackaged as new, or it may be the exact opposite of what he said days earlier. It makes no difference. It’s given with the same sincerity, fervor, and professionalism each time. When he’s through the switch is thrown turning off the teleprompters and he’s moved to the next stage and a new speech is loaded. With 14 months left in his term Obama is doing nothing but giving campaign speeches all over the country. He’s abandoned any pretense of governing for the next year. The economy is in near recession and he’s got his walkin’ shoes on.
Whatever he is, he’ll either leave office after the next election or 4 years from then, and we still won’t know or understand
anything about him. He’ll leave behind a legacy of chaos that will take years to fix. Or he’ll leave behind an America that we won’t recognize. Or worse, he’ll leave both.