Robin of Berkeley has provided a great summary of psychological speculation to answer a question now in the minds of some Americans: "What's wrong with Obama?"
I suppose a few among us are still asking this question, as though the answer will undo a whit of the damage done. As a full-time mom, with 36 years of experience under my belt and a couple of model American adults now on my resume, I've stopped asking that question, however. In fact, from a mom's point of view, I'm much more prone, at this point, to be asking, "Should we care what's wrong with Obama?"
From the Dr. Mom perspective, as opposed to the therapist's paradigm, it's not hard to surmise that the boy, Barry Obama, was victimized by Murphy's Law of Character Development. Every single thing that could go wrong in the development of strong and upright character quite obviously did go wrong in Obama's childhood. To which, I might add, so what? He's a grown-up now. He ain't twelve anymore. And he has more than three hundred million real people to whom he owes a good day's work for a good day's pay.
We did not go out and recruit Barack Obama to be our president. We did not find him by searching the country over for the most qualified man for this job. No, it was Barack Obama, owing to a character flaw the size of California -- a blaring lack of humility -- who put up his own name in contention for the presidency, when he had never held an executive position (not even a paper route, for crying out loud!) of any kind whatsoever, in the public or private sector. In fact, as I've said before, Barack Obama had a resume that would fit handily upon the back of a postage stamp, and it was pure, unbridled arrogance that prompted his candidacy. Sure, there were lots of giddy sycophants who egged him on, but at the end of the day, Barack Obama should have known better, should have given far more weight to the responsibility he was assuming. And the fact that he didn't know any better is owing to his own lack of character, which he has had every possible opportunity to develop in the years since he left home.
It is Barack Obama, not his momma or his daddy or his grand-momma or his grand-daddy, who has to answer for the job he is doing now that he has secured the position he sought.
While it is virtually impossible for anyone -- other than God -- to answer the question, "What's wrong with Obama?", it is completely within the realm of human observance to see that no matter where he came from or what kind of parents he had, Barack Obama's character is nothing short of reprehensible.
Where he ought to be hardworking and industrious to the nth degree, he shows himself to be lazy. When he ought to be knuckling under, hard at work at his desk, hammering out decent solutions to the vast array of problems before him, he is partying hardy, having a merry ole time, trotting around the globe, playing golf, shooting backyard hoops, and opining on the latest controversial umpire's call in a baseball game. When it comes to actual governance, the only word this president knows is "delegate." When he ought to be consumed with fixing a national disaster in federal waters, which occurred in a federally regulated industry, the best he can come up with to even feign an I-do-really-give-a-darn work ethic is an emotionally contrived use of the A-word.
Oh, please. This is the kind of lazy, no-account attitude demonstrated by every panhandling bum on any street corner. His GQ dress code notwithstanding, Barack Obama has the work ethic of the welfare moms for whom he has shown his only real empathy to date. In a president, this character deficit is not only pitiful, but it is also downright despicable.
Does President Obama evince bedrock honesty, integrity, and a moral compass with all-American-value bearings? From every possible ordinary-citizen vantage point, Barack Obama appears to possess character deficits -- again, the size of California -- in every one of these essential-in-a-president qualities. And I'm so sorry for the bad hand Barry Obama was dealt in childhood, but that makes no difference now that he is an adult with the same accountability as every other adult on the planet.
None of us get to choose our parents. None of us get the perfect childhood to which we all feel somehow entitled. None of us start adult life with all the tools we might wish to have in our little box of life skills. And none of us get to hand over a therapist's excuse-card when we inevitably meet the Big Guy and must account for how we have used the hand we were dealt and made the most of it on earth.
None of what happened to the president in childhood, in my opinion, lets Barry off the accountability-hook as an adult. Because in spite of anyone's claim to the contrary, human beings do have free will; they can and do change all the time.
For every therapist's doomsday prediction based on a model that claims some hurdles simply cannot be jumped, there are an infinite number of human beings who somehow do manage to not only jump those horrible-hand-in-life hurdles, but veritably speed to the finish line of life as though it were a walk in the park. History is replete with the inspiring stories of such individuals. We know such people, work with them, sup with them, worship with them. Some of us are those very exceptions to the rule. Many a would-be bum or serial killer or bomb-thrower has become a person of such outstanding character and achievement that it behooves all of us to humble ourselves before the indomitable human spirit. We are endowed by our Creator with abilities so profound that they remain as yet uncharted by modern mankind.
When Robin of Berkeley opines that the president will not change because he is incapable of change, owing to the truly horrible things that probably happened to him in childhood, she is not only ignoring the millions of exceptions to the arbitrary rules of therapists' expectations, but she is also diverting attention from the very real American calamity of this presidency.
For the past forty years, America has gotten little more than hippie psychiatry from the mental health profession. The tired old flower-child mantras -- "If it feels good, do it," "Our hope is in dope," "All the world needs now is love," and "He just can't help himself" -- simply have not lived up to their cultural hype any more than Barack Obama has lived up to his. Trying to figure out -- from a distance, no less -- what is wrong with Obama is a fool's errand. Can the president change himself? Of course he can. But we certainly cannot change him. The only person I can change is myself; that's human nature axiom #1.
On the other hand, we are the parents in this governmental paradigm. We, the voters, hold all the authority under our Constitution. We may not be able to change Obama's character, but we can certainly hold him accountable for what happens on his watch. We can apply a great deal of parental pressure in the form of public demonstrations, letters, phone calls, and hounding the press for more accountability, and in this fashion, we can provide an incentive for the president to change his behavior. President Obama ought to be getting the message about now that he has fooled far too many for far too long, but that the accountability-buck has now landed squarely in his lap. Barack Obama is now beholden to three hundred million Americans, each of us holding an IOU for diligent service -- whether little Barry feels up to the job he took or not.
If Obama voters have any question now, the only one they should be asking is, "What's the matter with me?" Now, that is a question which lies within the power-province of every single man and woman who pulled the lever for this man. As the crises mount, as the president continues to preen and play, as the livelihoods of more and more Americans go up in economic smoke (or oil, as the case may be), I predict that even many liberals will rediscover their collective common sense and take much greater care the next time they cast a vote.
No, we'll never know all that may be wrong with Obama or what caused his stubborn, willful refusal to acquire the strong character denied him in childhood. But I, for one, have begun to ask my Obama-voter acquaintances, even strangers who admit their vote and want to talk about it, "What were you thinking?" Civil confrontation is one of the best tools, available to every one of us, in helping Obama voters to come to grips with the enormity of their decision in the 2008 election.
Upon such idiotic decisions, great civilizations do indeed fall.
And in this Dr. Mom's opinion, that is the truly consequential lesson of the Obama presidency.
Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. She welcomes your comments at www.kyleanneshiver.com.