There is an old slogan that your view of life depends on which end of the telescope you look through. If you peer through the end that magnifies, you can see objects a long way off very clearly, as the power of the lenses amplify the view in exquisite detail. The observer can then view what lies ahead with plenty of time to prepare or react. It also brings important details that would be invisible at that distance into sharp focus, for better scrutiny. This is called foresight, and it is critical to navigation, military strategy, business and financial planning and most importantly, governance.
Looking through the wrong end of the telescope means that everything viewable is greatly diminished in size and detail. A massive panorama gets distorted to a tiny shadowbox, with much of the critical detail rendered too small to detect. Same telescope, but which end you look through makes all the difference in your perception.
The same is true with history. We have a perspective crisis currently in this nation.
Our president, the man we elected to lead us and set a national agenda, has spent his entire life looking through the wrong end of history’s telescope. While many may pooh-pooh about the extent of one man’s impact on our entire nation, Mr. Obama is proving daily that the impact can be profound, and difficult to reverse.
Barack Obama views this country as greedy, arrogant and offensively nationalistic, mistaking true patriotic pride an honest labor for international belligerence and exploitation. This is clearly exhibited in his effusive bowing to other national leaders (especially the despotic ones) and acting as though they are moral equals, in spite of often execrable records of human rights abuses. The leaders of other nations, and most particularly the aggressive Islamic states and Russia, have no reason whatsoever to take him seriously. His wrong-end view from the telescope of American history has succeeded in diminishing the American Presidency to a punch line (the Russian individuals he “embargoed” over Crimea called him “a prankster”).
No other president in history has done so much to reduce the office to so little. But hey, if your view is that America is evil and needs to make amends to the world, then such actions are to be expected. Even Jimmy Carter, the President-Who-Won’t-Go-Away and original “Blame America First” POTUS didn’t do as much to castrate the office as the current occupant.
Mr. Obama’s hostile stance towards business is borne of his twisted perspective that our country has been an insatiable exploiter of the natural resources and labor of our and other nations. Since he has never held an actual job in private enterprise, had to produce, repair or service anything, his perspective is that of a have-not and a socialist. His father was a communist, from whom he derives much of his ideology. He spent his entire post-college “career” among and advocating for those who were not producers in our economy, but only consumers of other people’s labors. Not surprisingly, his jaundiced view of business and commerce underpins all of his dealings with corporate America, the lone exception being his naked groveling for campaign donations.
Had he even a single job where his labors involved producing something, rather than focusing all his attentions on manipulating people and systems to institutionalize welfare dependency and entitlement, he would have at least taken a momentary glance into the correct lens of the telescope. Alas, he did not, the result being that there is nothing to balance out his prejudices.
On race relations, the man touted to become The Great Healer has instead become The Great Divider. It’s a fact that many white Americans elected him on this point alone, wanting to assuage their own consciences and write a new chapter in race relations for the country. The problem is that Barack Obama spent decades of his life steeped in the hateful racial diatribes of his pastor Jeremiah Wright, a man consumed with unrighteous racial anger draped with tortured Biblical overtones. Barack, who is as white as he is black genetically, only identified with his African descendancy. Considering that his white mother and white grandmother were the ones to raise him in the absence of his African father, it is a great conundrum how a man so uniquely qualified to possess a balanced point of view between blacks and whites so singularly adopted the one and rejected the other. Of his developmental years in Hawaii he wrote that “The opportunity that Hawaii offered-to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect-became an integral part of my world view, and a basis of the values that I hold most dear.” Where did all that “mutual respect” and open mindedness go, Mr. President?
The result is that race relations are more deeply strained well into his second term than they have been for decades. Add to this racially-tainted abuses of power by his appointees like Eric Holder and other key cabinet officers and a “racial quota” appointment to the Supreme Court in Sonya Sotomayor. Obama has also established a pattern of racial knee-jerk remarks over incidents like the Trayvon Martin and Henry Gates incidents, and his track record is one of racial antagonism and division, not healing. He squandered what was his greatest opportunity historically, because he opted for the wrong end of the telescope years before.
Mr. Obama didn’t err by aspiring to power. Many men and women do, and some even manage to do positive things with it. Where Mr. Obama sowed the seeds of his own failure and eventual despotism was the influences he chose earlier in life. He selected as the shapers of his world view inspirations like Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, his Marxist father and other radicals. Theirs is a cynical view of power as something to be grappled away from others by any means necessary, and wielded against any perceived enemies without restraint. It is a means to forcibly govern the common people, who are viewed as unenlightened and incapable of managing their own lives without government’s compulsory oversight.
If that last sentence offended you, then you are on the President’s “enemies list”. In fact, his greatest nemesis is the Constitution, which limits his power while securing our rights as citizens. He has displayed his radical roots consistently throughout two terms by skirting Constitutional process, legislating illegally through Executive orders, and generally flouting the law, even his OWN law, whenever it suits his agenda.
The product of all of this is a nation desperately struggling with its identity. The President has used the power of his office to make his distorted personal perspective our problem. It’s a shame that this is the legacy of such a historic opportunity wasted.
Image: Courtesy of: http://sclohonet.blogspot.com/2007_12_16_archive.html