President Barack Obama has used a variety of hypnotic tricks to subliminally control his audiences. Partial proof of his talent lies in the absurd Obamanosis reflected in liberal media sycophants, among others. Far beyond the absurdity of a Chris Matthews tingle up his leg, Obama has been able to wrap his audiences around his finger. Many attribute this to his being a “great speaker” but he is utilizing much more than speaking skills.
One of his many maneuvers involves a form of nominalization. Nominalization, in effect, takes a verb and turns it into a noun. As a consequence, an activity is — as Obama’s guru 60′s radical Saul Alinsky would say — frozen. When accomplished, Obama has been able to take important processes or means, freeze them, and then hold them out as ends in and of themselves, for which he can then be congratulated as performing better than others.
An example lies in diplomacy. Talking with one’s enemies can be a valuable means to resolve conflicts, stop them from escalating to levels undesirable to both parties, convey intentions and plans so that confusion is kept to a minimum, and facilitate articulation of interests such that creative reconciliations can be derived. Depending upon a variety of factors, diplomacy is an active process which can be successful, or not.
When nominalized, however, into the simple notion of “talks,” diplomacy becomes an end in itself. Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, in his book Surrender is Not an Option, has brilliantly described this problem as deeply rooted in our State Department’s DNA. Its diplomats are more interested in talk and closing a deal than in the actual costs and benefits of the deal itself. Talk and deals for their own sake, as has been demonstrated time and again, are a recipe for major foreign policy collapse. As Obama’s entire coterie of foreign policy “elites” are quickly discovering, our enemies are not as spellbound as the Obamaites. The mere fact of talks not only does not impress Iran, Russia, North Korea, or others, it has become an advantage for them to use against us.
Another “means into end” abuse of Obama’s lies with the word “bipartisan.” Obama has used the word to suggest he is uniquely blessed with the skills to bring people who otherwise would find it difficult to “come together” to satisfying compromises. Without the approval of both sides, obviously, a result would not be bipartisan. So “bipartisan” as used by Obama is suggestive of a skill and process in which he is skilled.
Yet “bipartisan” has developed into an end in itself. And far from meaning compromise, what Obama actually demonstrates by the term is the giving to some of the opposition the ability to air their grievances and suggestions, nothing more. He is more than happy to show the cameras he has Republicans in the room but, after all, he won the election. A bill is bipartisan not if a large number of Republicans vote in favor, but rather if Republicans are physically given access to appear at some portion of the process. In a situation where Republican votes are generally meaningless, bipartisanship has devolved to refer to an invitation to a party or session. Consequently, the process of actively engaging Republicans and incorporating their positions has turned into an end signified by simple physical participation in photo opportunities.
With much of the nation under the spell of Obamanosis, Obama also catapulted the word “temperament” to center stage. Obama made his “cool” and “calm” demeanor appear to be a necessary asset for anyone who would lead the country. The implication is that our more “sophisticated” European allies, who have learned to deal maturely with their problems, require America to choose a responsible leader who is also able master those “cowboy” impulses that led the world in the wrong direction for so many years. The ability to temper speech and behavior, as with all behavioral flexibility, can be a valuable asset in many situations. Being tempered for its own sake, however, represents a limitation and, in Obama’s case, a tool for encouraging his listeners and followers to follow suit, mirror Obama, and temper themselves.