Something that has long puzzled me about President Obama is his arrogance. Webster’s Dictionary defines arrogance as an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions. Arrogance is the opposite of humility. Webster’s definition fits Barack Obama’s attitude to a tee. In fact, even his supporters acknowledge that Obama is arrogant. Of course they are quick to add that he has every right to be arrogant since he is—to them—a political rick star and the personification of the leftwing ideal. Liberal presumption notwithstanding, what I want to know is this: What is the source of Barack Obama’s arrogance? In other words, what does he have to be arrogant about?
Arrogance is not uncommon among people of status and fame. Everyone reading this column could name athletes, actors, musicians, and business leaders who are arrogant. Although we may be repelled by the arrogance sometimes displayed by people of status, we will admit that in most cases there is at least some basis—no matter how misguided—for the arrogance. Those arrogant people who come immediately to mind have at least accomplished something—not necessarily worthwhile, but at least something—that makes them believe they are superior in some way. For example, people of my generation were put off by boxing great Mohammed Ali’s loud and frequent proclamation: “I am the greatest!” But our disdain for his arrogance was at least partially mitigated by the fact that he was if not the greatest at least one of them when it came to boxing. We did not like his arrogance, but we could at least understand it. This is not the case with Barack Obama.
President Obama may be the least qualified individual to ever serve in the White House. He is certainly in the lower quartile when measured against his predecessors. Yet, he struts like a peacock, is disdainful of anyone who disagrees with him, peppers his speeches and press conferences with the words “I” and “me,”and unapologetically takes multimillion dollar vacations while the Americans he is sworn to serve stand in unemployment lines, are devastated by hurricanes, or have their homes repossessed.
If Barack Obama’s record as president were more like Mohammed Ali’s record in boxing, I could understand his arrogance. This is not to say I would approve of it, but I would at least reluctantly acknowledge there is some basis for it. But, alas, Ali’s record as a boxer was much better than Obama’s record as president. In fact, if Ali had boxed the way President Obama governs he never would have been knocked out by Floyd Patterson and never won his first championship. This being the case, I have finally come to the realization that President Obama’s arrogance is based on the entitlement mentality. Barack Obama feels entitled to be arrogant. Those who are entitled are under no compulsion to earn the respect of others. On the contrary, they feel they deserve it. It is as if the world began the day they were born.
Arrogance has no place in public service and President Obama, although he apparently does not understand the fact, is supposed to be a public servant. He is not a hereditary monarch who was born to rule. He was elected by the American people to serve them and our nation. There is inherent in this fact an unwritten demand for humility and thankfulness. Kings are arrogant, but servants are humble. Pontius Pilate was arrogant, but Jesus was humble. Listen to President Obama’s speeches. Almost every time he uses the word “I” the word “we” would have been more appropriate. When he uses the word “me,” the word “us” would have been better. Arrogance is the attitude of misleaders, not leaders. Are you listening Mr. President?