Confucius once remarked that a state rests on three pillars: food, military, and trust. If a leader were forced to give up one of the pillars, asked a disciple, which one would it be? Confucius answered: "Military." Compelled to abandon another pillar, inquired the disciple, which one should the leader choose? "Food" answered Confucius. In the end, says Confucius, a state's most indispensible resource is trust.
American citizens were asked during the 2008 presidential campaign to trust a candidate who refused to release his academic records, college transcripts, and a detailed original birth record. We were also told to trust a man whose mentors and associates included a racist anti-American pastor and a former domestic terrorist who takes pleasure in literally stomping on the American flag. Topping it all off was the image of patriotic American citizens being asked to trust a presidential candidate whose own wife disparaged as "downright mean" a country that paved her and her husband's way to an elite education and gold plated employment. Americans were told to trust a man who claimed to be both bipartisan and post racial despite glaring evidence that revealed a calculated use of race to leverage votes and demonize Republicans. Back in June of last year for example Mr. Obama told a gathering of Florida donors that Republicans would try to use his race against him:
"We know what kind of campaign they're going to run. They're going to try to make you afraid. They're going to try to make you afraid of me. He's young and inexperienced and he's got a funny name. And did I mention he's black? He's got a feisty wife."
When the always astute James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal heard Obama's brazen attempt to ante up on the race card he made this observation:
"Obama is baselessly accusing Republicans of racial prejudice, or at least of cynically pandering to racial prejudice. But by wording this "accusation" as a prediction, Obama is able to cast aspersions without needing any evidence to back them up. He implicitly ascribes to the GOP the view that voters are prejudiced against blacks, then calls on voters to prove they are not by voting for Obama. The fear of GOP racism also provides black voters an extra motive to get to the polls."
On the campaign trail stumping for Hillary Clinton, Geraldine Ferraro was one of the few who publically and truthfully distilled the essence of Obama's wildly popular movement:
"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position....And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
Much of the country indeed was "caught up in the concept" of a black man being president, and Obama, according to Taranto, milked the concept for all it was worth. In light of his brazen use of race to garner additional votes Obama's response to Ferraro can be seen as willfully ignorant:
"I don't think Geraldine Ferraro's comments have any place in our politics or in the Democratic Party. They are divisive. I think anybody who understands the history of this country knows they are patently absurd. And I would expect that the same way those comments don't have a place in my campaign they shouldn't have a place in Senator Clinton's either."
The truth is that Ferraro's comments were not "patently absurd" nor was Obama above using his skin color to advance his campaign. Anybody who "understands the history of this country" knows that affirmative action and diversity programs have fabulously rewarded designated "persons of color" with the kind of freebees and perks that exceed the wildest dreams of most White and Asian-Americans.
If we can't trust the president to see beyond color neither can we trust him on the issue of health care. Back in August of last year candidate Obama promised to carefully organize a televised, bipartisan debate on health care reform:
"People say, 'Well, you have this great health care plan, but how are you going to pass it? You know, it failed in '93,' And what I've said is, I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies -- they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."
During the campaign what was billed as a reflective and respectful attempt to craft an appropriate health care compromise transformed after the election into thuggish desire to blindside the American public with a massive federal power grab. Ardent Obama supporters like Camille Paglia at Salon magazine articulated the seething frustration of many Americans when she said:
"I just don't get it. Why the insane rush to pass a bill, any bill, in three weeks? And why such an abject failure by the Obama administration to present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way?"
But Obama did promise to "present the issues to the public in a rational, detailed, informational way." Little did any of us know however that hidden behind all the talk of hope and change and transparency was a calculated strategy to punish the very country that represented one of the few historical examples of legitimate hope and change.
Why then is there a karmic freight train headed in President Obama's direction? The reason is simple: instead of properly vetting candidate Obama, the media and much of the public were "caught up in the concept" of a person of color becoming president. For many, to vote for Obama was simply to establish proper progressive credentials.
The great American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson referred to the law of karma as the law of "compensation." The essence of the law according to Emerson is that in nature and in life "every secret is told, every crime is punished, every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and in certainty." Or, in more stark terms, "justice is not postponed." The Buddhist phrase is "every act will ripen" -- both good acts and bad.
What's crucial here is that the wise Emerson understood that a fawning media is the most dangerous ally on the playing field of karma. This is why Emerson famously said in his essay Compensation that he "hated to be defended in a newspaper." He reasoned that "blame was safer than praise" and therefore when the "honeyed words of praise are spoken for me I feel as one that lies unprotected before his enemies." By remaining humble in the presence of the eternal law of compensation -- that is, to recognize the dangers of a fawning press -- we protect ourselves from the kind of hubris that becomes in some men the "insanity of conceit."
In Emerson's words:
"A great man is always willing to be little. Whilst he sits on the cushion of advantages, he goes to sleep. When he is pushed, tormented, defeated, he has a chance to learn something; he has been put on his wits, on his manhood; he has gained facts; learns his ignorance; is cured of the insanity of conceit. The wise man throws himself on the side of his assailants. It is more his interest than it is theirs to find his weak point."
Mr. Obama sat on the "cushion of advantages" just long enough to win an historic election. But because the entire charade was engineered by a willfully blind media caught up in concepts rather than facts Mr. Obama's "insanity of conceit" has festered rather than diminished. Frustrated with the compliant media, a spontaneous cross section of justifiably angry Americans flooded into town halls across the country to begin the painfully overdue process of finally vetting Barack Obama and his unhealthy socialist worldview.
If Aesop were to write a fable on this remarkable drama he might well call it "The Roosting Chickens Meet the Lame Duck." It's a fable John Kerry learned about during his campaign prior to the 2004 election.
In sports the law of compensation works very quickly. When numbers and measurements are involved a kind of ruthless justice shines an immediate spotlight on the unqualified. The same goes, at least for now, on various elite military units. A fawning media in other words can't help someone swim six miles or rush for a thousand yards.
In education and politics however a person's skin color, together with an obsequious media, have for decades been very successfully overpowering the very notion of objective, critical measurement. Players destined for the second team suddenly find themselves in the starting line-up. They may gain a starting position, but they lose a precious amount of trust and legitimacy.
My guess is that Barack Obama's college transcripts show a "D-" in Economics and a "Withdrawal" in Western Civilization. It really doesn't matter however whether we ever see those transcripts. The law of compensation eventually tracks us all down, regardless of color.
Some of us just a little later than others.