July 4, 2009
Obama's Future MemoirsBy Miguel A. Guanipa
One thing that Obama will probably do when he leaves office is start to write his memoirs. He may probably even have started already; Obama likes to write books.
I wondered if these memoirs would include the things we hope he will learn, as every other president has, while he held the most powerful office on earth. I only wish that he had learned them before he took office.
Nevertheless, I now present you with a suggested first draft about some of the lessons he learned in his first half year in office, written in the first person:
Hello, this is Barack Obama.
I wanted to share with all of you some of the things that I have learned while I was in office. I will call it: Things I Learned When I Was President.
Like some of you, I used to believe that there is nothing I need to learn. Let me say that you have provided me with my first lesson; and that is that there are people out there who are in such a dire need for a hero to worship, they will not let their brains get in the way once they find one.
I have also learned that a refrain which everyone used to badger my predecessor can also be used against me. For example, if I say that the economy is going to rebound, someone could just retort that simply saying something doesn't always make it so.
I learned that tyrants are mean people, and are only interested in dialogue as long as it furthers their own agenda. They are not interested in taking advice; even if you are nice to them, and preface your overture with an admission of collective guilt as the imperialist, arrogant superpower that we are.
I learned (and boy this is a big one) that you can fool most of the people most of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time; unless they are people like the ones I mentioned at the beginning of this chapter.
I learned that though there's no substitute for the best laid plans, even the best laid plans can sometimes be beaten to a pulp by a brutal gang of facts.
I learned that you should never let your guard down; especially if you are talking to fans who are constantly stroking your ego and making you feel like a super star. You may just slip and say something really stupid; pull a Biden so to speak. (Note to self: consider deleting that last sentence from final draft)
I learned that, no matter how much you wish, some people will just never - I mean NEVER - go away.
I learned that I should really brush up on my history before I give another international speech; there may be people listening who actually know what I am referring to and point out my utter ignorance on the subject. I need to have a talk with my speech writer about that. I guess that's what you get when you have a 27 year old writing your speeches.
I learned that what I say regarding a conflict in any part of the world is of greater importance than any of the accolades I used to revel in for being such a great speaker; because what is said -- as well as what is left unsaid -- will affect many people whose lives could very well hang in the balance.
I learned that there are times in our lives when we need to take a sober look at what we have always considered to be our must fundamental beliefs, and perform an honest appraisal of them, to see if they can are at least, still aligned with the truth. And if they're not, it may be time to reconsider one's position.
I learned that some ideas that look grand in theory -- some are darn near laughable -- are pretty darn hard to actually put into practice; even if it's something simple like closing a detention center.
And finally, I learned that timing is very important. And the worst regrets do not always come from speaking too soon, but more from not really thinking before speaking. Oh, and that there is also such a thing as not speaking soon enough.
I think I'll take a break from writing and go walk my dog now.