Created on 16/1/2008
The world needs the USA to be strong and true to the aspirations of its founding fathers. For this to happen the country must occasionally be lead by outstanding people of vision. This has not been the case for quite some time. Now there is a moment in history where a great leader in the USA could shape our entire world’s destiny. There are some who claim this mantle of potential greatness for Barack Obama. Unfortunately I see something very different and worrying when I look at this candidate for the presidency.
The last big US Presidential debate took place last night. Again, although I don’t admire the man or his chances too much I thought that McCain won the argument battle but probably lost the larger war.
More interesting in this brief overview was not what they said, but the way they chose to say it. The body language was vital and very obvious. Obama’s smile was almost patronizing and false, but although he clearly doesn’t rate his opponent highly he realizes McCain is a wounded beast, and is not yet dead in the water although he is clearly heading for that watery grave.
McCain clearly loathes Obama, and can barely tolerate sharing a stage with him. When he has to physically touch the man he almost takes a step back. I don’t think this is false body language; he loathes Obama with visceral hatred.
But we must ask if Obama’s very obvious attempts to wrap himself in the mantle of President John F. Kennedy is bearing fruit. Clearly it worked in Germany when he made his oration in the centre of Berlin. He was summoning the ghost of the late President when he visited that city and toured Europe.
The difference was that JFK was the President of the States when he made his visit and seminal speech, and not one of two Democratic candidates as Obama was at the time of his speech.
Kennedy had a vitally important message to deliver direct to the hearts of his Berlin audience and to the minds of the then Soviet occupiers of the other half of that country. Obama was simply nurturing an image in a more gullible, celebrity-obsessed age, in which image transcends accomplishment.
Yes, Europe particularly wants America to have a leader everyone can all admire and rally behind, and yes, Kennedy embodied that ideal for us just as Ronald Reagan embodied mom and apple pie for America itself during his tenure. Never forget that underneath the veneer of old world sophistication Europe and most of the rest of the world culturally aspires to ape America.
Yes, at first glance Obama is the type of leader Europe has seemingly been waiting for, especially if he could demonstrate the aspirational aspects of the vision and statesmanship of JFK.
However we see Obama morphing into another former President, one less lauded and admirable than Kennedy. Obama is Jimmy Carter reborn, and that is not good. You will recall that Carter was intellectually a very able man, far cleverer in an IQ sense than many of the Presidents with far better achievements on their presidential resume. Jimmy Carter was a disaster, indecisive, hectoring, and not viable. He screwed up in Iran; he failed with the economy and forced the wrong deals through in the Middle East. All of the same failed strategies he employed are being reborn with Obama and they didn’t work for the peanut farmer and they won’t work now or in the future.
Men like Carter always fail. America doesn’t need a bright Professor running the country as if it was a university department. What the world urgently need from the States right now is for its leader to lead, to be a tough guy with the courage to react, sometimes instinctively, to whatever problems the world generates. There are going to be plenty more problems available.