Editor’s note: Chuck Norris’ weekly political column debuts each Monday in WND and is then syndicated by Creators News Service for publication elsewhere. His column in WND often runs hundreds of words longer than the subsequent release to other media.
In 2008, Americans appointed a president they expected to unify the country, lift the oppressed and restore America’s relations and economy in the world. But after nearly two terms in office, Americans are more polarized, the oppressed more hamstrung, and our country more unstable than ever before among the global community. Iraq is only symptomatic of the greater problem.
Ironically, or maybe not so, a single professional review of Obama’s personality profile could have shown us exactly what was in store for us with his leadership style.
I ended Part 1 citing Samuel Barondes, M.D., a leading psychiatrist, neuroscientist and Jeanne and Sanford Robertson professor and director of the Center for Neurobiology and Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. In his 2011 exposé of President Obama, he, in turn, cited Nassir Ghaemi, professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, and Drew Westen, a psychologist with interests in both personality and politics.
Doctors Barondes, Ghaemi and Westen concur that Obama is too pliable (“no-drama Obama”) to be a leader like FDR, who had to make big decisions in big crisis. Obama’s incapable of confronting the toughest issues and situations, especially leading those who oppose him out of them.
Dr. Westen went on to explain in his article, “What happened to Obama?”:
When Dr. King spoke of the great arc bending toward justice, he did not mean that we should wait for it to bend. He exhorted others to put their full weight behind it, and he gave his life speaking with a voice that cut through the blistering force of water cannons and the gnashing teeth of police dogs. He preached the gospel of nonviolence, but he knew that whether a bully hid behind a club or a poll tax, the only effective response was to face the bully down, and to make the bully show his true and repugnant face in public.
In contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze. Instead of indicting the people whose recklessness wrecked the economy, he put them in charge of it. He never explained that decision to the public – a failure in storytelling as extraordinary as the failure in judgment behind it. … But there was no story – and there has been none since. …
The real conundrum is why the president seems so compelled to take both sides of every issue, encouraging voters to project whatever they want on him, and hoping they won’t realize which hand is holding the rabbit.
Obama has climbed the ladder of political success by the typical dog-and-pony personality performance show, in which voters have mistaken his charisma, articulation and maybe even the color of his skin for his ability to lead a diverse nation and world. But he never had the finesse, forte or backbone in the first place to lead in crisis or others who opposed him or his views. As most of my readers know, there’s a huge difference between leading a mob – and even political affinity – and leading a nation established on diversity.
He gained his presidential leadership by belittling the former president. He has made his presidential decisions by avoiding and criticizing Congress and opting for executive orders. And he’ll likely measure his entire presidency by how well he mopped up others’ messes.
The one thing missing in his life and presidency: his culpability and leadership. Dissing political rivals, usurping power and over-lording is not good leadership in any American book, but that’s Obama’s modus operandi. It’s passive aggressiveness at its presidential best!
Obama’s inability to confront or even bridge opposing relations and views is manifested in how he stutters and stammers under pressure or says whatever is expedient (including lies – for example, “If you want to keep your insurance …”). Few other politicians in history haveflip-flopped like him on a host of critical issues: Iraq, Iran, gay rights, NAFTA, abortion, race, religion, gun control, etc.
But none of that compares to his dismal efforts as president when confronted with major political powers and wars around the world. Consider the last few years alone, and ask yourself if he has contributed a single ounce of progress with the opposing forces or crises in North Korea, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Benghazi, Russia, Ukraine, Israel and Gaza and now Iraq all over again. Who didn’t predict this Iraqi uprising in grave hostility (now genocide) wouldn’t eventually follow Obama’s withdraw of U.S. troops?
Obama’s inept leadership is also seen throughout America’s domestic struggles – from America’s southern borders to Congress, the IRS, Veterans hospitals and Wall Street. Has the president’s decisions with any of them made a single dent in our problems or have others’ work, effort and time contributed to their improvement?
Obama’s leadership plan for global and domestic crises has been exactly the same: Avoid opposition by going leadership MIA and hope it all pans out. He knows only one chess move in diplomatic relations: Make unilateral decisions and any other move that doesn’t engage or involve his opposition.
Consider his latest move: After initiating bombs dropped on ISIS in Iraq (just short of a new declaration of war), he leaves on a two-week vacation.
Is America not in an entirely greater volatile place in the world because of Barack Obama’s presidency? Indeed, has our own president’s leadership inability and passive behavior not hastened the chances for another World War, starting in the Middle East?
Leading by unilateral decisions and swaying to political expediency are not the leadership qualities America needs now or ever. They demonstrate his character flaws that have come full circle to haunt him and – most tragically – us. To add insult to injury, we’ll never know the exact prices we’ve paid because we will never know the good that the right leader in the White House could have done over the last seven years in stabilizing our country and world.
I’ll say again what I wrote in Part 1, Obama’s glaring and greatest weakness – namely, his inability to make hard decisions in crisis and especially lead opposing forces through or out of them – has cost America on every front. It has further divided Washington and our nation, and it has jeopardized our standing with the entire global community and even our allies, leaving us in a much more unstable place in our world.
Will America learn from Obama’s leadership flaws, inabilities and mistakes? That answer we will only know if we are strong enough not to appoint anyone like him in 2016.