Since the end of World War II, the President of the United States has been considered the leader of the free world. Some of our presidents have deserved the title and some haven’t. In fact, our presidents since the end of World War II can be ranked from the perspective of world leadership. The reader should note that a president’s ranking on world leadership does not necessarily coincide with his ranking on domestic leadership. At the top of the ranking for world leadership since World War II are Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush. A middle group consists of Ford, Clinton, and George W. Bush. Occupying the bottom of the list are Carter and Obama.

Not only does Barack Obama fail the leadership test on the international stage, he also fails on the domestic front. President Obama is certainly a capable, charismatic politician. Even his most persistent detractors admit this. Perhaps this is why he stays in campaign mode 365 days a year. But there comes a time when a president must stop campaigning and start leading. Barack Obama is overdue by about five years in this regard. Unfortunately for our country, it is the leadership aspect of the job President Obama does not seem to get. Yes, Barack Obama has been elected twice to a position of leadership, but he is no leader. This being the case, readers might reasonably ask: How does one distinguish between a leader and a person who is just filling a leadership position? I always respond to this question by recommending a simple test that anyone who is interested can use.

We know the characteristics associated with effective leaders, regardless of their fields of endeavor. These include a worthy vision, honesty, credibility, common sense, commitment, steadfastness, impartiality, and sacrifice. There are other characteristics associated with effective leaders, but space limitations do not allow a full and comprehensive look at all of them. The leadership test mentioned earlier involves comparing the actions, decisions, and example set by the supposed leader with these characteristics. In practically every comparison, President Obama fails the test.

There is no doubt that President Obama has a vision, but is it a worthy vision? Is it a vision the majority of Americans can rally around—a vision that is good for our country and that will pull Americans of all stripes together in a common cause? Hardly. In fact, Barack Obama’s vision of dependence at home and weakness abroad has not only failed to pull Americans together, it has divided our country into warring camps. Is Barack Obama honest? Hardly. Even his supporters acknowledge that the president is able to look right into the camera and tell a whopper, a fact media watchdogs have verified numerous times.
Does President Obama have common sense? Hardly. If he did he would know that a country can’t spend itself out of debt or remain a superpower by hollowing out its military. Is President Obama committed? On the surface he appears to pass this element of the leadership test. He is certainly committed to his radical leftwing, statist agenda, but—ironically—this is why he ultimately fails on commitment. Barack Obama is committed to an agenda that is bad for the country he purports to lead and bad for the Americans who he claims will benefit from his agenda.

Is President Obama steadfast? Hardly. He changes political positions more often than I change socks. His beliefs appear to be defined by the political exigencies of the moment. Barack Obama believes in whatever is best for Barack Obama. His one enduring core value seems to be political expedience. The president—with the cooperation of the mainstream media—is able to get away with saying one thing to one group and something different to another, all in the same day. Is President Obama impartial? Hardly. After running on a promise to bring the country together, Barack Obama has served as president of the radical left, not President of the United States. Not only has he failed to reach out to the loyal opposition, he has ignored the Constitution in steamrolling his political and ideological opponents. No president in America’s history has presided over a more divided nation.

Does Barack Obama sacrifice for the good of the cause? Hardly. The gage on the misery index has been pegged in the red since he took office in 2008. Unemployment has been persistently high, business confidence has been persistently low, and the number of Americans who think our best years are ahead of us has fallen to an unprecedented low. In short, that “bright shining city on a hill” of the Reagan era has lost its luster during the Obama era. In spite of the fact that everyday Americans are suffering, Barack Obama has spent his time in office living large. His behavior in office has resembled that of a spoiled fraternity brat whose college costs are borne by someone else. Unemployment goes up and the president responds by playing golf. A killer storm ravages America’s Northeast and the president responds by taking a vacation in Hawaii. Not only does President Obama not sacrifice on behalf of the American people, he doesn’t even understand why he should. Barack Obama is the personification of the maxim that says “rank has its privileges.” Misleaders take full advantage of the privileges of rank. Real leaders put aside privilege and serve. Are listening Mr. President?