CHARLOTTE, NC, May 23, 2014 — Historians may have a tough time trying to determine certain aspects of the Obama presidency. There is no doubt that he is the first black president. School is still out as to whether Obama is the worst president, but Jimmy Carter has been a lot happier lately.
The real question about Barack Obama that may be debated for decades is when did the teleprompter break?
Watching the president do his best to explain away the latest scandal involving the Veteran’s Administration was a classic case of hubris in action. Barack Obama does not resemble a Greek tragedy, he is one.
During that period of relative anonymity the current president was regarded as the “Great Black Hope” whose oratorical skills established a vast legion of followers who believed he was the reincarnation of Demosthenes. In those days Obama was considered a Messiah. Today he just a “mess.”
Under normal circumstances there would be those who empathize with the president’s fall from grace. Yes, there are still some, most of whom would have followed Jim Jones to Guyana too. Some people never get the message do they Harry and Nancy and Eric?
But these are not normal circumstances and Barack Obama has never truly grasped what being an American is all about. He does not realize that the people he represents resent it when he takes his victory laps or any opportunity to chastise an opponent, even when it has no relevance to whatever happens to be the talking point of the day.
When it happens too often, Americans revolt. If you don’t believe it, ask the NFL why they are imposing penalties on players for hot-dogging in the end zone after a touchdown. Why does a major league pitcher throw at a batter’s head after he prances around the bases following a home run? “In-your-face’ is unbecoming, especially in a president of the United States.
The words are no longer eloquent Mr. Obama. They are just sad. They are tired. They are filled with venom and vitriol. Everything is political. The world is against you. And yet you continue to wonder how anyone could dispute the grand plan you had to remake the United States in your image?
“Nobody is madder than I am” says Obama.
“There will be consequences.”
“Let me be perfectly clear, we will get to the bottom of this.”
“I am outraged.”
The words are all too familiar, all too repetitive. The statesmanship is gone because there never was any statesmanship in the first place.
The president is a mirage. Watching him wriggle and writhe and worm his way out of every situation has become trite. It’s old news.
You get the feeling the president gets up in the morning and spins the Wheel of Fortune to decide which scandal he will deal with that day.
So when did the teleprompter break? When did all that eloquence that mesmerized throngs of the American people disappear into the pathetic mumbo jumbo we witness now on a weekly basis?
Rush Limbaugh would tell you it began on day one. That is when he saw right through the most transparent administration in history.
Others took longer. More than four years for some, in fact. Because Obama was re-elected.
Was it after al-Qaeda died? Was it while he was painting red lines in the sand? Was it during the making of that notorious YouTube video that set the entire Middle East on fire?
Maybe it was when the president promised to fix the VA before doing nothing. Or possibly when he was trying to find more letters for the alphabet because he was running out after the NSA, the IRS, investigations by the CIA and FBI and the American people who could see what was happening were shouting “S.O.S.”
The words have been empty for a long time because they never really had any meaning to begin with. They were, in the end, only words.
It is sad to see someone fall from such lofty heights. Especially when they have squandered the opportunity to do something unique, something grand.
But in Barack Obama’s case, opportunism got in the way of opportunity, and while there will still be the usual hangers-on who will cling to the last remnants of his oratory, the truth will ultimately prevail.
The saddest thing, however, is that most people have lost the capacity to empathize. Rather they will simply feel sorry for someone who let greatness slip away because he was too ruthless to recognize the potential for something remarkable.
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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