For the past month President Obama has represented America to the G-20 members in Europe, to Turkey, and to the collected leadership of Latin America. The president went out of his way to portray the U.S. as nothing special; in fact, it was responsible for all manner of world problems and had a lot to apologize for. Through heartfelt apologies, bows, contrition, faulting of policies and conduct of the prior administration, and silently accepting the most in-your-face insults ever leveled at a sitting U.S. president, one could legitimately wonder whether Barack Obama was actually embarrassed to be the leader of such a flawed country.
It is hard to accept that an American president would travel abroad and openly denigrate this country, to not only weaken our standing as a world leader but also to legitimize and reinforce those who have hate for America and pray for her downfall. Whatever else he may be, he is not the traditional American president in the way he represents our country and her interests in a divided and dangerous world. One gets little sense that America is the beloved country he feels honored to lead; nor does he appear humbled by the enormity of his role. There is no obvious sense of pride in America’s achievements and the role it has played in the freedom of, in many cases, the very homeland of its critics. Rather, he was an apologist inviting all manner of rivals to take advantage of his lack of resolve for America. Prior presidents attended these events as the leader of the free world. This month we bowed to a hostile king and assisted Latin American dictators and oppressors in legitimizing themselves at America’s expense.
Certainly America didn’t decline in the past six months and history didn’t change, so the diminished stature of America and the presidency is due to the man himself, who he is and what he believes.
His beliefs are more and more apparent and they reflect a much more negative view of America’s past and present role in the world than most Americans identify with. In this he appears naive and inexperienced, not at all surprising given the thinness of his resume. Barack Obama’s adult professional life has been an insular one lived in a world of words and ideas, not actual experience. His negative views of America’s role in the world appear amplified and reinforced by the people he chose as his primary associations over the past twenty years. Nor has actual experience tempered his negative views of American involvements because he has never had to contend with a hostile and violent world while in a position of real power and responsibility.
His climb to the presidency was not one of successive long and hard fights over substantive matters; rather the presidency came by riding a wave of ordination by media and unseen backers and financers. He rose to his current office having never seriously engaged issues of national importance. Even at the state level, when an issue was contentious he merely voted “present.” To say he arrived in office lacking real-world experience is an understatement of massive proportions. In short, it has been all too easy to accept the rantings of those who seemingly fault America for so many ills in the world because it fits his template of America as an unjust country; the view of America as an arrogant, greedy, and, yes, dismissive country was widely held in his circle of associates, as in Michelle Obama’s first sense of pride in America arriving during the campaign. His idea of a real threat was limited to a prosecutor in Cook County, Illinois, not the naked hatred from nuclear-armed fanatics in North Korea or Iran.