Terrorists slaughter innocent, unarmed people in Paris. In response, the President of France calls for a show of unity, inviting all civilized nations of the world to participate in a march against terrorism. Many national leaders attend, but what does President Obama do? He stays home and watches a ballgame, not even deigning to send a top-level cabinet official to represent the United States. Several terrorist attacks in Europe and the U.S. are thwarted at the last minute by vigilant police work. How does President Obama respond? He refuses to acknowledge that the civilized nations of the world are at war with terrorists bent on our destruction. Terrorist attacks are linked to a group with ties to Yemen. How does President Obama respond? He announces the release of Muslim terrorists with ties to the same group in Yemen from Guantanamo prison.
Either Barack Obama is the most out-of-touch president to ever occupy the White House or he is purposefully doing things that are destructive to America and its future. These miscues—if that is what they are—are just the latest in a long line of questionable actions on the president’s part. Frankly, he had barely been sworn in when he started making decisions and taking actions that are bad for America and that threaten the future of our nation. Only two explanations are possible for explaining Barack Obama’s questionable and even destructive acts as president. Either he is the most out-of-touch, inept individual to ever serve as president or he is purposefully trying to undermine the nation he was elected to lead.
Consider just a few other examples of the president’s questionable decisions and actions. Our government is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people. In order for self-government to succeed, elected officials must stay in touch with American citizens; the people they are supposed to serve. As America’s chief executive, Barack Obama faces the same challenge that all previous presidents before him faced: Staying in touch with constituents—keeping his finger on the pulse of American society. However, as the recent mid-term elections showed, Barack Obama is clueless when it comes to the pulse of American society, or, if he is not clueless, then he must not care about the American public.
The mid-term election results were a complete repudiation of President Obama’s vision for America, point of view, governing style, economic program, and foreign policy (or lack of a coherent foreign policy). In short, on November 4th the President of the United States was given a resounding and even embarrassing smack down by the American electorate. His reaction to the drubbing he and the Democrats took in the mid-term elections suggests that being out of touch is not his problem. Rather, his reaction was one of a president who simply does not care what the American people think.
When it comes to his historically low approval ratings, Barack Obama either does not get it or has such a high opinion of himself that he does not care what Americans think. I suspect the latter is the case. His attitude concerning the mid-term massacre was of that of a hereditary monarch not an elected official. By the way, do not be fooled by the temporary upsurge in his approval ratings. Lower gas prices always improve a president’s approval rating, even when he has nothing to do with lowering the prices; which is certainly the case with President Obama. In fact, the dirty little secret behind the lower gas prices we are all enjoying is that the Saudis are pumping out an abundance of oil to purposefully drive down prices. Why? They don’t like the increased competition they are facing. The Saudis are trying to kill the sand oil fields in North Dakota and Canada and render the Keystone XL Pipeline irrelevant. Consequently, we should all enjoy the lower prices while we can—they won’t last, but that is grist for another mill.
In any kind of organization it is easy for executives to become insulated and isolated. Executives are often surrounded by ambitious people who tell them what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. This is especially the case with our chief executive, the President of the United States. Further, because they sit on the highest limb in their organization’s tree, it can be difficult for executives to know what is happening on the ground. As president, Barack Obama sits on the highest limb in the biggest tree in the forest. Wise executives understand the isolation/insulation phenomenon and take special precautions to deal with it. Barack Obama, on the other hand, refuses to even acknowledge the phenomenon. He seems to think that what is right is what he says is right, the American public be damned. This is not the attitude of a hapless, befuddled, out-of-touch president. It is the attitude of a president who has his own agenda and does not care what the American public thinks about it.
Wise executives who fear they are becoming out of touch overcome isolation and insulation by replacing ambitious sycophants with aides who will tell them the truth, and by making a point of getting feedback from constituents. Because he holds the most difficult executive job in the world, the President of the United States must be especially careful to surround himself with aides who will tell him the truth. Further, he must make an effort to stay in touch with constituents. Barack Obama does neither of these things, and now that the glitter has worn off of his presidency Americans are beginning to realize how out of touch or purposefully destructive the president really is. Americans used the mid-term elections to express their displeasure with a president who is either in completely over his head or, as is more likely the case, believes he should be addressed as your highness.
In debating the question, Is President Obama just out-of-touch or is he purposefully trying to undermine America?, I would much rather be assigned the “purposeful argument.” Based on the evidence that is readily available, one can more easily make the case that the president knows what he is doing and is determined to do it regardless of what the American public thinks. On the other hand, if he is just the hapless, out-of-touch, inept chief executive he appears to be, we are still in trouble.