America at the Crossroads on the Fourth of July
America is at a crossroads -- we always seem to be, but this time we really are.
We are living under the administration of a president that is now the least popular since World War II. A full one-third of those polled by Quinnipiac rate Barack Obama the worst president since 1945. (Reagan is rated the best.)
What accounts for this? There are dozens of reasons that have been detailed on these pages and many others. The man has lied to us multiple times -- and to himself as well, no doubt -- and many people now apparently sense this. But I think the deepest reason, the motivating cause, stems from a time Barack Obama actually didn't lie, but told an important truth.
Back on July 27, 2004, a then obscure Illinois senator made himself famous by standing in front of the Democratic National Convention and speaking these words: “There is not a liberal America and a conservative America. There is a United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America, a Latino America, an Asian America -- there's the United States of America."
Did he believe those words? Maybe. Once upon a time. But evidently not very deeply. The fact is he betrayed them completely and almost everything he has done wrong has stemmed from that betrayal. He has acted in the most partisan and deceitful manner, surrounding himself with a tiny group of yes-women and yes-men, making a mockery of his self-proclaimed transparency, shamelessly exploiting interest groups in a way that could only divide our society while diminishing America's place in the world, and allowing evil forces to grow across the globe.
All of this while being convinced he is always doing the right thing. The rest of us are wrong. He is not the commander-in-chief. He is the moral narcissist in chief. It's not "I think, therefore I am." It's "I believe -- therefore it is."
But most of the country seems to realize that now. And his poll numbers reflect it. Sometimes it seems as if his only real supporters are government employees, food stamp recipients, and the editorial board of the New York Times. Whatever the case, that 2004 speech to the DNC is so far in the rear view mirror we might as well be on Battlestar Galactica.
So what do we do? How do we become -- on this Fourth of July -- the United States of America again?