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The Supreme Confidence and Arrogance of a Too Late President

September 1, 2011

Snaking lines of unemployed people, thousands applying for a few hundred openings.

“If only I can get this job…” each person is thinking.

Starving kids who haven’t eaten properly in weeks – months.

“I gotta get this job. How will I feed my kids? How will I keep my house, or apartment?”

People sleeping in their cars.

People sleeping in tent cities because they don’t have a car.

Something is happening in America. The last time we’ve seen a situation so sustained was the 1930s.

But this is not the Great Depression. That was a unique event in United States’ history, where social safety nets didn’t exist.

Yet a visionary president by the name of Franklin Roosevelt was concerned enough about social unrest and maintaining the dignity of people (read males) that he introduced the most successful national work and infrastructure project in U.S. history: The Civilian Conservation Corps.

Why is this not happening today? The U.S. economy continues to limp along; economists speculate about a double dip recession; Congress navel gazes over infighting and politicizing the country’s debt woes.

What is President Obama doing?

I could never understand why Obama blew most of his political capital on healthcare reform when he assumed office. It was painfully obvious that he took over the presidency by a misguided and frankly incompetent president with the initials GWB, who presided over blowing apart America’s international reputation and setting the country on the path towards a devastating recession and financial meltdown.

My opinion is that Barack Obama, possessing an extraordinarily high degree of self-confidence (some would say arrogance), believed that he could multitask managing the economy’s recovery and introducing what has proved to be a controversial healthcare plan. And on top of this, managing two wars, dealing with a dysfunctional Congress, containing a runaway federal budget, dealing with banana republic dictators who slaughter their citizens, and the list goes on and on.

It’s a fascinating study in supreme arrogance of a human being who appears to believe he has virtual superman powers.

I hold no political affiliation. As a Canadian I’ve voted all over the political map for 35 plus-years. If I were an American, I suspect I’d bounce between Democrat and Republican. In other words, I’m not part of that clandestine group, whose members (Canadian or American) pretend to deliver objective commentaries on the Canadian or U.S. economies.

My interest is the interplay between national leadership and the performance of the economy. President Obama’s game-plan has clearly backfired. His healthcare plan will implode upon itself in the coming years due to the increasing weight of demands from an ageing population. His detached approach to addressing America’s economic ills has proven largely ineffective. He is now into total reactive mode, not knowing what to do or where to turn.

This is not visionary leadership.

This is not engaged leadership.

This is not leadership for the people.

Meanwhile, more and more American kids go to bed hungry every night. More and more kids don’t have a home. More and more adults desperately cling to their dignity as they try to find that job that will help them feed their children.

President Obama: you’ve failed your people.

The obscure we see eventually. The completely obvious, it seems, takes longer.

– Edward R. Murrow

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2011 10:47 am

    Mr. Jim, Carrot will respond to your question now: No.

    Although fun to write from the perspective of a close relative to the simple, anemic parsnip, it sometimes is tedious as hell to think as a carrot thinks.

    If the intelligence of a root vegetable is measured on a molecular level, artistic license could (does) easily suffer. But … it’s fun!

    Both Carrot and I agree wholeheartedly with you that ‘the People’ deserve those individuals we place in office. After all, we put them there and what they do, or don’t do, is a direct result of our action. On the other hand, those whom we elect can also be removed from office. It often isn’t easy, but it’s possible.

  2. September 19, 2011 8:51 pm

    Carrot believes the citizens of most countries look for, indeed they select, those who display extraordinary confidence.
    Carrot observed what is inferred as a developing pattern as the word “arrogance” is used repetitively in your essay.
    Carrot speculates, rather darkly, that “uppity” is the noun you may have the desire to use in place of “arrogance”.
    Carrot will remind your readers that presidents have many who “serve at the President’s pleasure”. These are advisors, aides, Cabinet members, etc. All of whom are in the presence of the Commander in Chief to assist him or her with those areas in which the president may have little or no knowledge. This is not unique to President Obama. ALL presidents are members of this club.
    I would suggest that President Obama has not failed the people of the United States; rather, it is the Republican Congress that continues to fail the people. However, if one wishes to take this to the area where the true locus of responsibility resides, the PEOPLE have failed the PEOPLE.

    • September 19, 2011 10:25 pm

      Indeed, the “people” deserve the leaders they elect.

      PS: Interesting that you “Carrot” speak in the third person. Anything wrong with expressing yourself in the first person?

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