The High School Valedictorian Presidency

Listening to President Obama speak Tuesday at the New Economic School in Moscow, it became completely clear that his intellect is greatly overrated. As Obama proudly proclaimed his commitment to shared international progress and explained his support for ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya, it was painfully clear how foolish it is to believe he can be trusted to do the right thing on the international stage. Most Russians already knew that. Only 23 percent have confidence in Obama to do the right thing in international affairs, according to a poll conducted by WorldPublicOpinion.org.

"The pursuit of power is no longer a zero-sum game -- progress must be shared," the president said in one breath. But minutes later, he announced that "the arc of history shows us that governments which serve their own people survive and thrive; governments that serve their own power do not."

Well, which one is it? Is he confused?

Does the leader of the free world not understand that serving his own people will often be in direct conflict with shared international progress? For instance, if the U.S. accommodates the demands of the United Nations in reducing carbon emissions, the cost of energy (and all products made with and transported by using energy) will rise in the U.S. -- that much is agreed upon by even the Congressional Budget Office.

In the United States, the very fact that there is a cost increase is a problem for the American electorate, particularly the poor. But the international community couldn't care less that Americans will have to spend more for their gasoline, food, and clothes. The Europeans have been paying more for years. Here, the shared progress in reducing allegedly man-made global warming directly conflicts with protecting the wallets of the American working class. As president, Barack Obama's duty is to care more about the latter. The contradictory statements in this speech and others strongly imply that he doesn't understand this simple -- but extraordinarily important -- fact. And the confusion doesn't stop there.