CHARLOTTE, NC, September 9, 2014 – In an interview on “Meet the Press” Sunday Barack Obama commented about the “optics” of playing golf within minutes of making a national statement about the beheading of James Foley.
“Optics?” That was it? Nothing more than “optics.”
This president has brought new meaning to the word “narcissism.”
Yet, two families are dealing with the horror of having their sons decapitated by Islamic animals while suffering the indignity of having those travesties displayed on social media and Barack Obama referred to his round of golf as poor “optics.”
An apology for Obama’s insensitivity would have been far too little and far too late, but at the very least it would have been more compassionate than describing his decision merely as “optics.”
So, the ISIS beheadings were all about Obama and how he looked in the “public eye” rather than the loss of life by two American journalists. So that is how we should see it, “optics.”
While subbing for Rush Limbaugh last week, Mark Steyn made a powerful observation. Steyn commented that we have gotten it all wrong during the past six years by blaming Barack Obama for the ills of the country. As Steyn sees it, the people we should blame are ourselves. You and me. We, the people, elected Barack Obama and then re-elected him. Steyn makes a strong point.
In 2009 one of those internet commentaries that frequently get a life of their own discussed Obama’s narcissistic qualities. The message was said to have been the insights of Dr. Sam Vaknin who wrote a book about narcissism called “Malignant Self Love.”
Some attributions were fact checked as not completely accurate. Vaknin himself makes a disclaimer on his web site that he is “not” a mental health professional and that his title of “Dr.” is derived from a doctorate in philosophy.
Other points in the commentary do, however, provide perspectives with remarkable into the man who has governed our country for the past six years, and reading excerpts from it are completely plausible.
As the article notes, “I was put off soon, not just because of his shallowness but also because there was an air of haughtiness in his demeanor that was unsettling. His posture and his body language were louder than his empty words.
“Obama’s speeches are unlike any political speech we have heard in American history.
“Narcissists project a grandiose but false image of themselves. David Koresh, Charles Manson, Joseph Koni, Shoko Asahara, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, Kim Jong Ill and Adolph Hitler are a few examples of narcissists of our time.
“One must never underestimate the manipulative genius of pathological narcissists. They project such an imposing personality that it overwhelms those around them. Charmed by the charisma of the narcissist, people become like clay in his hands. They cheerfully do his bidding and delight to be at his service. The narcissist shapes the world around himself and reduces others in his own inverted image. He creates a cult of personality. His admirers become his codependents.
“Narcissists have no interest in things that do not help them to reach their personal objective. They are focused on one thing alone and that is power. All other issues are meaningless to them and they do not want to waste their precious time on trivialities. Anything that does not help them is beneath them and does not deserve their attention.
“Obama’s election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. The University of Chicago Law School provided him a lot longer than expected and at the end it evolved into, guess what? His own autobiography!
“Not surprisingly, Adolph Hitler also wrote his own autobiography when he was still a nobody. So did Stalin. For a narcissist no subject is as important as his own self. Narcissists are often callous and even ruthless. As the norm, they lack conscience.”
As President Obama prepares a speech about his strategy for dealing with the Islamic State a little more than a week after he claimed he had no strategy, we will once again be treated to the “optics” of his hollow rhetoric.
Mid-term elections are looming and the man who claims “political theater does not come naturally to him” will attempt, once more, to convince the American people that this decision about ISIS has nothing to do with political theater.
As 9/11 approaches, the speech is also designed as cover for the president in the event something happens on that anniversary.
It will all be done through the prism of Barack Obama’s rose colored glasses as he stares into his teleprompter to display his mastery of the “optics.”
Bob Taylor has been traveling the world for more than 30 years as a writer and award winning television producer focusing on international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
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