Obama's failure of leadership

On Saturday, President Obama was in Urbandale, Iowa doing what he does best: talk.  I didn't hear him personally, but I could imagine his cadence.  Like a folksy preacher who has devoted his life to moving his congregates, Obama warned his audience that GOP ideas are "better suited for the last century." 

As usual, the president was very general, so general in fact that he could deny meaning anything in particular.  But this is an election year, and the United States is in trouble on multiple fronts, so specifics matter.  What could the president have meant by that remark?  I'll suggest a few possibilities and let readers fill in the rest because I'm certain that I am not aware of all of them:

1. In the last century, living within your means was considered to be the right thing to do, the moral thing to do. We are still suffering through the after effects of the wildest spending spree that this nation has ever seen. It's called the housing debacle, and the president promised to fix it. He didn't. In fact, he has set the tone in this nation by proposing to spend a trillion dollars more each year than we take in for as far as the eye can see. Living beyond your means isn't just wrong. It's immoral, and it leads to insolvency. President Obama has turned living beyond your means into an art form.

2. In the last century, leading was based on vision, values, and courage. Thanks to President Obama we have a new approach to leading that I never even considered, and I taught leadership for 25 years and I've written books on the subject. It's called "leading from behind". Truth is leading from behind isn't leading at all. President Obama's heralded approach is to do little or nothing until someone else does the heavy lifting and at the last minute he steps up to receive the credit. That's dishonest, and it's immoral.

3. In the last century, there was no doubt that marriage meant men marrying women. If you listen to or read about what he says, you know that President Obama wants us to think that his views on this subject have evolved over time, and now he realizes that it can also mean men marrying men and women marrying women. I don't buy that for one second. I suspect that he has always lacked a moral compass and that he waits until he thinks that he can get away with letting his true feelings be known, i.e. when he believes that it won't cost him politically. That's what charlatans do, and fraud is immoral.

4. Throughout most of the last century, abortion on demand was illegal in this country, but thanks to people like President Obama, in 1973 it was condoned by our Supreme Court. Since then, more than 50 million innocent souls have been sacrificed on the altar of self-indulgence. There is no doubt about what President Obama believes where abortion on demand is concerned, and there is no limit to which he will not go to curry favor with the perverts and deviants among us. Just a few days ago, Sandra Fluke, the Queen of Self-Indulgence, introduced him to an audience in Denver. That was no accident. She is the poster child for immorality, and she got there by design. Obama is trying to capitalize on her infamy, and he will win the support of those who believe in what she stands for-immorality without consequences. You can be certain about this fact: there are always consequences for immorality. Some of them are more visible than others, but there are consequences and they are profoundly negative.

As I said, I know that there are other examples, but this much is certain: as a nation, we have lost sight of our moorings and President Obama never had any.   Donald Trump said that President Obama is the worst president in our nation's history.  I agree with him.  I'll never forget the day that Herb Stein, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under Presidents Nixon and Ford and my colleague at the University of Virginia, told me that one of the evidences of our nation's underlying strength is our ability to withstand the quality of leaders that we elect, and we've elected some terrible leaders.  I can't imagine a more immoral president than Barack Obama and that includes John Kennedy.  Unlike Kennedy, President Obama isn't satisfied simply being immoral.  He won't rest until he makes this nation as immoral as he is.  We can't afford to let that happen.


Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.


On Saturday, President Obama was in Urbandale, Iowa doing what he does best: talk.  I didn't hear him personally, but I could imagine his cadence.  Like a folksy preacher who has devoted his life to moving his congregates, Obama warned his audience that GOP ideas are "better suited for the last century." 

As usual, the president was very general, so general in fact that he could deny meaning anything in particular.  But this is an election year, and the United States is in trouble on multiple fronts, so specifics matter.  What could the president have meant by that remark?  I'll suggest a few possibilities and let readers fill in the rest because I'm certain that I am not aware of all of them:

1. In the last century, living within your means was considered to be the right thing to do, the moral thing to do. We are still suffering through the after effects of the wildest spending spree that this nation has ever seen. It's called the housing debacle, and the president promised to fix it. He didn't. In fact, he has set the tone in this nation by proposing to spend a trillion dollars more each year than we take in for as far as the eye can see. Living beyond your means isn't just wrong. It's immoral, and it leads to insolvency. President Obama has turned living beyond your means into an art form.

2. In the last century, leading was based on vision, values, and courage. Thanks to President Obama we have a new approach to leading that I never even considered, and I taught leadership for 25 years and I've written books on the subject. It's called "leading from behind". Truth is leading from behind isn't leading at all. President Obama's heralded approach is to do little or nothing until someone else does the heavy lifting and at the last minute he steps up to receive the credit. That's dishonest, and it's immoral.

3. In the last century, there was no doubt that marriage meant men marrying women. If you listen to or read about what he says, you know that President Obama wants us to think that his views on this subject have evolved over time, and now he realizes that it can also mean men marrying men and women marrying women. I don't buy that for one second. I suspect that he has always lacked a moral compass and that he waits until he thinks that he can get away with letting his true feelings be known, i.e. when he believes that it won't cost him politically. That's what charlatans do, and fraud is immoral.

4. Throughout most of the last century, abortion on demand was illegal in this country, but thanks to people like President Obama, in 1973 it was condoned by our Supreme Court. Since then, more than 50 million innocent souls have been sacrificed on the altar of self-indulgence. There is no doubt about what President Obama believes where abortion on demand is concerned, and there is no limit to which he will not go to curry favor with the perverts and deviants among us. Just a few days ago, Sandra Fluke, the Queen of Self-Indulgence, introduced him to an audience in Denver. That was no accident. She is the poster child for immorality, and she got there by design. Obama is trying to capitalize on her infamy, and he will win the support of those who believe in what she stands for-immorality without consequences. You can be certain about this fact: there are always consequences for immorality. Some of them are more visible than others, but there are consequences and they are profoundly negative.

As I said, I know that there are other examples, but this much is certain: as a nation, we have lost sight of our moorings and President Obama never had any.   Donald Trump said that President Obama is the worst president in our nation's history.  I agree with him.  I'll never forget the day that Herb Stein, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors under Presidents Nixon and Ford and my colleague at the University of Virginia, told me that one of the evidences of our nation's underlying strength is our ability to withstand the quality of leaders that we elect, and we've elected some terrible leaders.  I can't imagine a more immoral president than Barack Obama and that includes John Kennedy.  Unlike Kennedy, President Obama isn't satisfied simply being immoral.  He won't rest until he makes this nation as immoral as he is.  We can't afford to let that happen.


Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia.  His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.


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