June 24, 2008
Obama's lack of ordinary modestyBy James Lewis
In his victory speech over Hillary, Barack Obama soared rhetorically about his feelings of humility. And yet he hardly sounded humble:
Now politicians are allowed some rhetorical overkill, but this is straight into Star Wars territory. There are no real precedents for this in traditional American speechifying, and that is saying something. Obama tells his hypnotized followers that we have not been caring for the sick (false); that we have no good jobs for the jobless (false); that the rise of the oceans (which doesn't exist) will begin to slow (false); and that our planet (which is feeling just fine, thanks) will finally begin to heal. (Also false).
So this is pure drivel from the deep regions of fantasyland. But Obama's brain dead followers are marching right in lockstep. They are a million Weekend at Bernie's, with millions of flatlining Obamanites being propped up to look as if they were alive and conscious. It's the Million Man March of the brain dead.
This election will pit the mind-numbed robots against sensible voters. Who is the majority? That's not clear at all at this point.
Obama deliberately plays to the lowbrow crowd; after all, half the population has an IQ of less than 100. This hardly shows Obama's modesty and humility of which he boasts in his first sentence. It is wild-eyed I Can Save the Planet grandiosity. This appears to be the real Obama; a Napoleonic Man of Destiny, with the zeal and certainty of a True Believer.
Obama's more-than-human sense of destiny may become a problem for him in the general election against down-to-earth John McCain. His vision of himself as a true revolutionary ready to save America and the world poses great risks to the Democrats, who may not be able to hide their hard-Left associations any more.
Worst of all, Obama's lack of humility may pose a danger to the United States if he should win. Otherworldly grandiosity and a sense of superhuman destiny do not make for sober judgment in a president. Any smart opponent -- Ahmadi-Nejad or Putin -- would simply play to Obama's blatant narcissism and screw the United States, but good.
Fourteen years ago Hillary Clinton closeted herself with a few allies like Ira Magaziner to redesign one-seventh of the three-trillion-dollar American economy. The health care sector is inconceivably complex, just like the climate (which only a delusional zealot like Al Gore claims to understand). No health care economist truly understands that much of the economy to the point of being able to predict supply, demand and prices for the huge range of medical products and services. Anybody who could do that could become a billionaire. Nobody has done it. It's way too complicated.
What we do know is that the health care sector works pretty well, churning out just about the best medical treatments in human history to the largest number of human beings who have ever received such care. It's the goose that lays the golden egg -- but a goose so complicated that no biologist would dare try to build a better one. And yet, Hillary Rodham Clinton never doubted for a moment that she could fashion a better health care system from the top. That is arrogance beyond the ordinary, arrogance to the point of mad grandiosity. It is not a rational state of mind.
That is Obama's brand of arrogance as well -- except that according to Michelle Obama, Barack intends to redesign no less than America as a whole, to "restore our souls." That sort of more-than-human belief in one's own higher power drove Lenin and the Soviet Politburo to create a command economy that had Russian peasants starving for decades. Over seventy years of Communist power the Soviet economy never lived up to its promises. Nearly every year the harvest fell short again, and the Politburo would come up with new excuses, new grand promises for the next Five Year Plan.
That looks like the mind-set our candidate Obama.
But in addition to Obama's fanatical belief in his quasi-religion of the Left, he has a sizable chunk of personal narcissism as well. It is visible in his physical stance when he accepts the plaudits of the masses. You and I might be embarrassed by that kind of adulation. Obama bathes in it as a well-deserved tribute. His grand narcissism appears whenever he changes his mind on life-and-death questions like Iranian nukes. One day Iran is a "tiny country" (it's not) and the next day Obama claims to have a fully thought-out policy to solve the knottiest foreign policy dilemma since Jimmy Carter blundered us into it. Yes, well, maybe the mullahs could turn out be a problem after all, says Obama.
Who knows what he really believes? Well, we know what his Imperial Guard believes, and they are downright appeasers to the last man and woman. Obama has the most hard-core Leftist group of advisors, ready to take power by January 2009 and steeer the ship of state straight on the rocks.
Now Obama is a very bright man, but he way overestimates his own capacities. There are limits to human intelligence. Jimmy Carter famously tried to micromanage everything down to the tennis court schedule at the White House. Carter was also possessed of that more-than-human sense that he, of all people, knew all the answers. So did Bill Clinton. Both of them were historic failures in the most basic duty of the presidency, the duty to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
For Obama it may be partly his childhood mentoring by Frank Marshall Davis, a hard-core Stalinist, plus his Harvard elitism, and his Clintonesque cynicism in using slippery words. But a lot of it looks like Pure Obama Arrogance -- something in his character that he's possessed for a long, long time. After all, this is a man who published not just one but two autobiographies before the age of 45. They are sort of proto-biographies, saying, "Here I am, a Man of Destiny, and here is the revolutionary future I bring to all of you."
As Victor Davis Hanson pointed out, Obama spent the first eighteen years of his life outside of the continental United States. He doesn't know this country very well at all. (Hawaii is another-worldly place to grow up in, as is Indonesia, compared to Indiana or Georgia.) Then he entered the unreal Ivory Tower of American colleges, followed by twenty years of weekly indoctrination lectures by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his buds in the Black Liberation Theology political ideology. That's Obama's life to date. Obama's total experience at the national level of American politics comes down to two-plus years in the US Senate, most of which was spent campaigning for president.
So what Barack Obama thinks he knows about the United States comes from reading books and newspapers, and from his carefully chosen friends on the Left, including Jeremiah Wright and old-style Communist Frank Marshall Davis. Obama's immense arrogance comes paired with equally great ignorance. He does not know, nor does he respect the basic rhythms and intuitions of American life.
Now this is very weird indeed for a man running for President of these United States. There are no precedents in American history of a serious candidate for the presidency who just doesn't have much experience of everyday America.
Narcissism is defined in psychiatry as an overweening sense of grandiosity, a sense of entitlement to whatever one desires, and a dehumanizing way of manipulating other people as objects. A lot of presidential candidates have that to some degree; the Clintons are the original poster kids of narcissism. But most candidates in American politics go through a long process of getting beaten up by reality, which helps to modify their outsized egos. Obama has never done that.
Indeed, Obama has done nothing in his life that indicates any ability to deal with reality in the raw. He has never had a job that deals with reality -- farming, business, engineering, science. He is simply Hollywood come to earth. Psychologically, Obama is ET, the Extra-Terrestrial -- he is from another place, a place in the otherworldly imagination of the Left.
Obama's narcissism combined with his fundamental ignorance spells danger for the country. If he does become president -- which looks like at least a 50-50 proposition right now -- he will be the most dangerous occupant in that office ever. He doesn't know where the steering wheel and the brakes are located; but he knows where he wants to go in his fertile imagination. A more dangerous driver of the American ship of state is hard to imagine.
Like Jimmy Carter, Obama will take a significant chunk of American safety and security with him. Obama is a talented actor on the national stage, but he will need a lot more seasoning before we can feel safe having him in the most powerful office in the land.
James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com