Barack Obama: Man of the World or Man of Another World?
During the apex of organized opposition to Barack Obama's mad rush to transform the United States, Shelby Steele wrote a helpful, albeit incomplete piece just prior to the 2010 midterms, titled, "A Referendum on the Redeemer."
[Obama's] policymaking has been grandiose, thoughtless and bullying. His health-care bill was ambitious to the point of destructiveness and, finally, so chaotic that today no citizen knows where they stand in relation to it. His financial-reform bill seems little more than a short-sighted scapegoating of Wall Street. In foreign policy he has failed to articulate a role for America in the world. We don't know why we do what we do in foreign affairs. George W. Bush at least made a valiant stab at an American rationale -- democratization -- but with Mr. Obama there is nothing.
There appears to be no rationale or workable doctrine for Obama's foreign policy.
Why does Obama govern in a way that causes distrust at home? And why does he seem to govern against America's interests abroad?
Steele notes that there is an "otherness" about Obama. For many, it's the sense that "he is somehow not truly American."
How can Obama's disconnect be explained?
The Hoover Institution thinker believes that "Barack Obama is not an 'other' so much as he is a child of the 1960s. His coming of age paralleled exactly the unfolding of a new 'counterculture' American identity." Steele concludes that Obama's apparent "otherness" can be explained by his left-wing identity. Mr. Obama is the first hardcore leftist to win national election.
That identity means a lack of faith in America -- and even feelings of "bad faith in America" and a rejection of American exceptionalism.
Steele notes that Obama "has functioned more as a redeemer than a steward, a leader who sees a badness in us from which we must be redeemed."
"When he bows to foreign leaders," writes Steele, "he is not displaying 'otherness' but the counterculture Americanism of honorable self-effacement in which America acknowledges its own capacity for evil as prelude to engagement."
Clearly, much can be explained by Obama's exposure to and immersion in American left-wing radicalism. The far-left beliefs of his mother and maternal grandparents were conveyed to an adolescent and teenaged Barack. And after Obama came of age, there is no record of alliances with anyone or allegiances to any cause other than those of the hard left.
Nevertheless, I have a hard time imagining any U.S. president, save Obama, bowing prostrate before a Muslim king. Though Steele insists that "Mr. Obama is very definitely an American," I suggest that there is something to the "otherness" of Obama beyond American counterculture liberalism.
The public was assured that voting for a multinational, multicultural, multiethnic man for the presidency was a sign of sophistication. The third-world experience of the candidate would prove helpful to the country, especially in the area of foreign policy. Because of his personal experiences, Obama would be able to effectively negotiate Muslim leaders in hostile countries toward peace and mutual understanding. Mr. Obama's knowledge of and experience with Islam would be beneficial for American interests.
Unfortunately, the reality of Mr. Obama's non-American Muslim background was glossed over, and the cursory attention it did get was presented in a way to ridicule anyone who would dare to raise legitimate concerns.
In 2007, New York Times columnist Nickolas Kristof challenged the notion that Obama lacked the necessary experience to become president in "Obama: Man of the World." Kristof offered the fact that Obama "actually lived abroad" as evidence to overcome the "myopic" view that Obama was not ready for prime time.
In this case, living abroad actually means that Barack Obama spent his most formative years in Islamic Indonesia, where he attended elementary school as Barry Soetoro from ages 6 to10.
Kristof writes that Barry "once got in trouble for making faces during Koran study classes in his elementary school, but a president is less likely to stereotype Muslims as fanatics -- and more likely to be aware of their nationalism -- if he once studied the Koran with them." Of course, he studied with them as an impressionable child subject to the peer pressures and prejudices of the foreign culture and his Muslim stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.
The "Jakarta street kid," Kristof writes, "recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it'll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as 'one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.'" Who doesn't think Allahu Akbar, Allah is Most Great, is one of the prettiest sound on Earth? At least Obama's paternal family members agree with the sentiment.
Mr. Obama's counterculture bad faith in America doesn't explain why he stood before an audience in Cairo, Egypt in 2009 and repeated the folklores of Islam. The one who had "known Islam on three continents" spoke of "civilization's debt to Islam" and claimed: "I also know that Islam has always been a part of America's story." Those are not the words of an American who gained an understanding of Islam while living in a third-world Muslim country with his American parents. Those are words of blatant propaganda that had been instilled in Obama somewhere along the way.
Astonishingly, President Obama somehow believes the Muslim revision of American history.
Why did Obama travel to Islamic Pakistan in 1981? That's an odd place to go for spring break. American liberalism offers no explanation.
When Americans Obama's age were in elementary school learning about George Washington, Barry Soetoro was learning about Malik al Saleh. When American school children were eating apple pie and playing Little League, Barry was eating pisang goreng and playing sepak takraw.
Hillary's campaign manager wanted to go after Obama's "lack of American roots" during the 2008 campaign, but the truth was suppressed out of fear of the race card.
Barry's "spread the wealth around" worldview and "you didn't build that" mentality acquired from the knee of Communist Party USA member Frank Marshall Davis explains much, but not everything. Mr. Obama is a confused synergy of dreams from his sometimes Muslim, sometimes atheist, always communist father and the metrosexual, anti-traditional tendencies of American liberalism.
Americans on the far left get their anti-American rhetoric from within. Obama got his from within and with a foreign mindset from without.
Mr. Obama's marination in the most radical views of the American left does not adequately explain his foreign policy in the Middle East and Northern Africa. His unique "otherness" may, however, explain why he has promoted and aided the so-called Arab Spring and allowed the Islamic world to be turned upside-down. Governments which were non-threatening to the United States and Israel were toppled (one via the killing power of the U.S. military). Yet Iran's regime, presumably the most radical and dangerous to U.S. interests, was allowed to remain intact, as the attempted revolution was ignored by Washington. If the goals were to transform the interests of the United States, while strengthening Islamic fundamentalism and threatening Israel, what would a U.S. president have done differently?
Hillary would have done a great service for the country by exposing Obama's lack of American roots to the general public.
Is it possible that the electorate has twice elected a man to the U.S. presidency who is not truly American in heart?