Amongst the hypocrisy, the political double speak and the formality of polite applause, the State of The Union was revealing. Certainly we heard a rehash of five years of campaign slogans — the president has a way of defaulting to such rhetoric. However, despite his denial, we now have a track record. I believe it’s not premature to begin framing a presidential legacy, albeit his legacy remains an open question.
History is agnostic to presidential legacies. It has no political allegiance or faith in which to judge the accomplishments or failures. The truth or record is an enduring legacy, one which cannot be expedited, and usually, not while that person remains in office. Hollywood may attempt to shape it, that’s become too obvious, but ultimately the real life experiences of millions of Americans will determine fact from fiction. There is plenty of fiction in this administration.
I’m not a psychologist who is qualified to discuss the psychological makeup of our president. Blogs are filled with that sort of thing. Diagnoses ranging from delusional to narcissistic are plentiful, but I make observations. History is clear that arrogance knows no bounds, and often reveals shallowness that tends to haunt our human record.
But, the record also shows arrogance that is empty — narcissism based on fiction and wide scale delusion, rather than actions that withstand the test of time. Perhaps the saving grace for America is that this president is the progressive scarecrow. He can rile people up, but can’t do enduring harm.
Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot displayed extreme arrogance. Their actions, policies and atrocities carved a brutal ridge across the pages of history affecting millions of people. These tyrants moved armies and displayed brutality that a rational mind struggles to comprehend. In each case, the media, the intelligentsia and the courts abdicated their innate balance of power as they feared for their own existence. Historical tyrants were not empty, they were feared.
Barack Obama represents empty arrogance. He is a president who believes he is the protagonist in an epic narrative of world history. He doesn’t control armies, he commands drones. He is not feared by the media or elite, but he is, in fact, played. Like Truman in the Truman Show, the Obama show is the story of an ordinary life, attempting to do extraordinary things. The problem of course, it’s all pretend, and the handlers behind the scenes create a fiction that seems so real to the president that he becomes bigger than life in his own world.
In the State of the Union, the president said:
But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct…I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
This statement, highlighting “executive actions” is the threat this president believes will inspire a nation, endearing the people to his worldview. Sadly, what this president has failed to recognize is that a legacy cannot be built on pillars of executive orders. This foundation is made of sand — an administration that is destined to be washed away by future administrations. Laws made by Congress may endure, but policies that have characteristics of law are like viruses and will simply run their course.
In a democracy, policies that are forced through executive action create winners and losers, and they divide people and sow the seeds of class warfare. These policies will fail. History will show the American people are better than that.
So, we are stuck in the world of sequels. This administration will become like the Rocky sequels: unrealistic, over dramatized and ultimately empty of praise. There will be a legacy for this president, but it won’t be based on policies forced through executive action. That is just arrogance and empty at that. No, this president will have the legacy of being our first black president, and there is honor in that. But like Rocky I, Obama I would have sufficed.
Unfortunately, the Obama sequel will end in syndication, and be a banal chapter in the proud history of our great nation.
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- Michael Reagan: Mr. Obama Arrogance Isn’t the Answer (conservativeread.com)
- Arrogance and Overreach (redstate.com)
- Obamacare 2013: Obama’s Legacy Tied To Health Care Reform That Bears His Name (odewire.com)
- Mieczkowski: Barack Obama’s veto power gathers dust (newsday.com)
- Rand Paul: “I’m Very Concerned About This President Garnering So Much Power and Arrogance” (Video) (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Rand Paul’s Gun War Against Obama (usdailyreview.com)
- Obama So Far: Making History, Inspiring An Opposition (wnyc.org)
- Obama’s legacy trap (politico.com)