Democrats frequently counter objections to President Barack Obama by pointing out that the Republicans have no one who could beat him in the 2012 election. The suggestion is that no Republican figure has emerged who has the characteristics to challenge the spell Obama cast over his voters in 2008, including physical attractiveness, media savvy, poise, celebrity, the appearance of intellectual fluidity, and so on. Perhaps this is counterproductive thinking. What may be needed is someone with the exact opposite traits, skills, and character: the Un-Bama.
Obama’s most noteworthy feature is his charisma. Some fraction of this is simply due to his race, as most of the nation took pleasure in the election of the first black president -- regardless of party. Yet Obama’s charisma allowed him to assemble an entranced following typically ascribed to either those who have already performed heroic acts or those, such as cult figures, who promise utopian futures to their spellbound subjects. Obama’s campaign of “hope and change” clearly places him in the second category.
Obama was “cool" -- the trait Saturday Night Live was ultimately able to parody without upsetting NBC’s close relationship with the administration. Learning to keep his cool and not anger whites was one of the potent skills he wrote about in his supposedly revealing book, Dreams from My Father.
These two strengths have shaped a great deal of Obama’s public performances to date. He is now trying to reinforce the image he sold his followers during the campaign.
And his “coolness” abounds everywhere. When our enemies kick sand in his face, Obama does not get enraged, does not stand up to them, and does not set limits or say “no.” Rather, he takes out any anger he might feel on our allies, making every effort to never give the enemy anything to dislike about him (similar, perhaps, to his self-described method of navigating around white America during his youth).
Saying whatever is politically expedient is also an Obama signature move. Feeling pressured to demonstrate machismo, he campaigned on the principle that the Afghanistan war was a “necessity.” He has been trying ever since to find a way out of this hole he dug for himself. He has no problem talking about the jobs he will create or “save” (whatever that means) or the fact that he will only sign a “deficit-neutral” health care bill. Then there's the idea that he will solicit Republican views in developing his plans, or that he will not allow “engagement” with Iran or North Korea to roll on endlessly, or that he had nothing to do with Attorney General Eric Holder’s almost treasonous plan to try 9/11 defendants in New York courts, and so on. Living up to his word has never been an operational constraint for this president.
And saying little is his expertise. Obama, the proficient law student and law lecturer, is well trained in “issue spotting" -- being able to articulate both sides of an issue. Perhaps his most effective public manipulation lies in his ability to briefly state something worth recognizing on the other side of an issue, thus convincing the audience that because he can see the complexity of our problems he must know the best solution.
Obama will frequently answer a tough question by saying “on the one hand we want X, while on the other we certainly must be concerned with Y.” He will avoid a clear answer, inviting the audience to trust to him on the presumption that, because he could mention something of value to both sides, he must be best suited to work out the optimal compromise. The liberal media fell completely for this simple and cheap trick. Meanwhile, Obama, the hustler, never intended to solve any problem with any solution other than one from the far left.
Obama has become the beacon for the notion that America needs to repent for its presumed amoral past and beg for forgiveness the world over in order to restore our moral standing. A popular view among the far left and university personnel (Obama’s roots), this view encapsulates the never-ending game of western or American guilt: The requirement that Americans behave as if they have unjustly enriched themselves off of the backs the rest of the world and, as such, need to “give back.” To boot, it is never made clear when enough “give back” is enough.
This is symbiotic with a related perspective -- America, anything but first. Hence, American exceptionalism is forbidden and to be despised. Instead, Obama will use every opportunity to demonstrate how respectful he is of others and how humble he is as an American. Yet the most rudimentary psychological evaluation of Obama reveals anything but humility. Perhaps no American leader has demonstrated as much true hubris as Obama carries with him daily.
Emotional resonance is another critical attribute. He has been the consummate salesman, or “flim-flam man,” coming into town ready to sell whatever the audience will accept, only to later figure a way to weasel his way out of living up to his word. After awhile, those who look at him with open eyes bounce between fear to panic and back as they realize the country has elected a leader who, along with his close staff, is willing to sacrifice the most fundamental priorities of the nation with the most shocking cold-heartedness. His complete lack of “real” emotion, covered up by a false, almost Las Vegas “Rat Pack” veneer, has recently become apparent to more and more of the nation.
Finally, “change” has been Obama’s calling card. And, as with any hypnotic induction, vagueness can powerfully bind many a subject when left to the mind of the listener to clarify. Nevertheless, many Obama supporters are beginning to realize that the “change” he or she imagined the president to have suggested is different from the almost complete overhaul of our national fabric that Obama and his minions have been pounding out. As more of the country discovers this, they are becoming less interested in a radical and massive transformation of the country and more interested in simple “baby step” improvements while maintaining the integrity of our system.
All of this leads one to consider whether what is truly needed to beat Obama is to have someone who doesn't resemble him. Perhaps what will emerge for Republicans is not a charismatic, dream-laden salesman who knows how to wow audiences, handle Oprah, and romance NBC “news” personalities, but rather someone who is simple and, perhaps, not very good looking or stylish at all.
Perhaps they should choose someone not looking to be on Mt. Rushmore before he can ease the economy and address the true faults in our health care system while not destroying it. Perhaps someone who doesn’t claim to be open and transparent while keeping under wraps critical aspects of his past; one whose past is easily understandable and relatable. One who, to his core, is American, from America, and, most importantly, loves America. One who is strong enough to fight for America, show he is prepared to fight, believe in its exceptionalism, and no longer apologize for any so-called “harms” upon which the world’s numerous “victim” groups have cast their identities. One who sees clearly the dangers of “radical” Islam and has tired of pretending it is anything other than what it says and does. And one who tells the truth and loves the truth.
Perhaps what is needed is the Un-Bama.