Almost two years ago the world, or rather the soft, left-leaning, socialist part of it, heralded the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States as akin to the second coming. Obama was the new Messiah, a man whose politically correct lineage and black skin made him irresistible to a large section of the democratic West. Here finally, was their
champion! A man whose polished prose and cool demeanor were so much more sophisticated than the incumbent President George Bush whose folksy delivery and often tearful connections with ordinary people drew derision and scorn from the media savvy Obama camp. Yet two years on hope has turned to mope and Obama’s joyous “Yes We Can” catch phrase is mocked as “No We Can’t”. Why?
Why indeed? Maybe it is because the Left are hardly ever right. They are either ridden with bitterness and invective as, fore instance, in their treatment of, and reaction to, the policies and personalities of Reagan, Thatcher and Bush; or, as in their embracement of the peace movement, Israel / Palestine, the Soviet Union, Nuclear Disarmament, Iran, environmentalism, multiculturalism, civil rights, racial and sexual politics and ultimately Barack Obama in whose diminutive figure all their causes were to be embodied, they become zealots and idolators. And like all idolators who invest all their hopes and fears in a single individual or cause, they are bound to be disappointed.
Obama is not God, nor is he a particular impressive politician, but he is black and for our new Establishment this was his greatest qualification and one behind which a myriad of causes could rally. Global Warming! Obama’ll Fix It! The Financial Crisis! Don’t worry Obama’ll Fix it! Terrorism! Iraq! Afghanistan! Education! Health Care! Whatever it is Obama’s The Man! The only trouble is, Obama isn’t The Man. In fact no one could ever be The Man that the Left expected Obama to be. Except God, and even God might have bulked at the Left’s ‘Fix It’ list.
Obama’s biggest mistake after putting on the mantle of the Messiah was to try and live up to the people’s expectations. Instead of focusing say on solving the financial crisis Obama stormed in with Healthcare Reform, global warming taxes and a whole raft of social engineering projects that guaranteed more government, more spending and no real job creation. The US is a country that espouses individualism and low taxes so these measures were stirring up a hornets nest that crystalized in the formation of The Tea Party.
Further Obama’s cronies may have mocked Bush’s emotional responses and failings but they showed that for all his faults George W Bush was human. Whilst Obama’s cold logical reactions and seeming indifference to his nation’s fallibilities only further exacerbate the sense of disappointment among his disciples. This has also given the wider public the impression that their new President has descended not from Heaven, as the Left seemed to think at his inauguration, but from the Planet Vulcan.
When Obama won in 2008 the Left lost all sense of propriety, with political commentators and pundits behaving more like star-struck groupies at a pop concert than hardened hacks. As this piece from the Guardian from the 5th November 2008 shows:
“There had been tears all evening ... “America, we have come so far” he said, as if the entire nation were gathered before him. “We have seen so much. But there is so much more to do.”
He also had a message to the rest of the world, one that will be welcomed almost everywhere. “To all those watching tonight from beyond our shores, from Parliaments and palaces to those who are huddled around radios in the forgotten corners of our world - our stories are singular, but our destiny is shared, and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand.”
In this speech, and with his victory, Barrack Obama has drawn a line under the last eight years, ending an American era that few will mourn. For today marked nothing less than the first day of the Obama presidency.”
Few mortal man, land even fewer politicians, warrant such clap-trap and of course receiving it is destined to disappoint and preordained to fail. Now that the world faces even greater uncertainty as the prospect of a second, darker wave of the financial crisis looms and political polarization follows as consensus gives way to self interest. Obama, far from unifying Americans around a ‘shared destiny’, has set them at each others throats. Not for decades has there been so much anger and mistrust of government and this anger is not going away, it is growing.
In Europe, where the Left rejoiced and celebrated almost as if Obama had been elected head of the European Union, hopes that some egalitarian wonderfulness would seep out of the US and envelope the world have been dashed as realpolitik and the economic realities caused by decades of government overspending sink in.
Europe and the US now face decades of high unemployment and falling living standards with the ever present threat of civil unrest, racial division, and political and financial collapse hanging over them like an acrid smog, irritating and at the same time, frightening.
Worse for nations used to their creature comforts and being top dog, the West’s role in the world’s pecking order is under threat as never before and in this as in everything else Obama has been found wanting. in his desire to be all things to all men Obama has weaken rather than strengthen the US abroad. Dithering or circumventing problems and by striving to please the antiwar brigade at home and those who see conflict and fighting terrorism as a series of wrongs rather than enforcing rights, Obama, like so many on the Left in Europe, has undermined and underwhelmed, when he should be been wowing and winning.
At the very time the West needs strong charismatic leaders, and decisive action it’s strongest country is failing. Its financial sector has already shown itself to be driven by greed and then weak when it should have been strong. Now at the behest of those same financial charlatans the President is seeking refuge in cheap exports, QE, and inflating away America’s debts with trillions of undervalued dollars. The irony is though that he may just be stoking the fires of revolution instead and paving the way for a President that is strong enough to restore the West’s place in the World Order and in doing so be hated by the Left and derided by Europe’s intelligentsia. In fact, that is how it should be, and by achieving such loathing, he or she, will show him or herself to be a true successor to Reagan, Thatcher and Bush, and worthy of the title, President.