We’ve considered the President’s leadership, his sea change in earlier presidential style and we will finish with some thoughts on today’s candidate selection. We see a President who lives above it all in high style while his – dare we say, “subjects” struggle and suffer, a primary failure in leadership. We see a presidential style shifted from traditional dignity and distance, to overt hucksterism. And we see one more thing worthy of remark.
President Obama was a total nonentity before his election. Yes, he was a Senator, but an invisible one, or as close as possible. His image was constructed on the campaign trail, crafted to fit the polling results. He was materialized out of the same thin air as the money the Fed is supplying to keep the US afloat. And the air has gone out of him faster than it has gone from the propped-up economy.
Technology and population growth have created a new electoral paradigm. How can an informed franchise exist among 330 million people, even in the electronic age? Sponsors pay millions to influence the minds of consumers of commercial products; a politician today, is also a product. What we see is virtual reality; it is not real. Senator Barack Obama, with his redacted birth and school records is a virtual candidate, not real in any useful sense. We elected a manufactured image, President of the United States. Try to imagine what, if he could, Benjamin Franklin would say today …
These conditions are no criticism of the President; he did not make them nor even select himself to benefit from them. He is simply the man on the spot at the right time. Technology and human nature made his opportunity and he was the one upon who fortune smiled, that’s all. Unfortunately though, a better talent selection is needed give today’s human condition.
It reminds us of the perennial problem of monarchy: the children of great rulers seldom provide successive greatness. Rather, they provide venality and incompetence at the cost of the citizens. But it appears that perhaps our Founders’ alternative, selection by voters, does little better, especially now that we cannot know our candidates.
A candidate who has, unlike President Obama, a record as say, a state governor, is at least a little know, if only in one state. But that’s not enough unless the state’s results under the candidate’s leadership were indeed, spectacular. That is rare. So these days, we are voting essentially, for manufactured symbols provided at great expense, by various interests that are not those of the citizens at large.
This makes a mockery of democratic elections, it seems to us. We might as well throw dice and live or die by that result. If one notes the effort and expense that today goes into the White House efforts to control the news, one may estimate the probability of really understanding the candidate we are expected to elect before he enters office. We are as voters, exactly the rubes the politicians take us to be, courtesy to a considerable extent, of U.S. public ‘education.’
So we should not blame President Obama too much; we accepted the standards that have produced him; we deserve what we have elected.
The Founders originally reserved the franchise to older, more settled and productive people. We have abandoned those rational protections in favor of ‘Let ’em all vote’ policies that have created an electorate open to purchase by politicians’ promises of robbing others to pay the ‘entitled’ so that they won’t have to work. Something for nothing, put simply. Mature, experienced folk know that is a scam; young, inexperienced voters are too often taken in, along with the greedy. And such is our own doing, the Founders knew better.
So we have worked hard over many decades to reach the point of electing a hollow candidate, pretty paint on the outside with nothing within. A nicely pressed, stylish, empty suit. And now that this has been demonstrated, we expect little else.
The primary evidence of that is the present reliance of the Democrats upon Hillary Clinton for the 2016 Democratic candidacy for President. Her accomplishments include a conferred and undistinguished Senatorial service similar to that of President Obama and an appointment by the President to the office of Secretary of State. Her service there was equally undistinguished and marred by the much-covered up Benghazi attack upon the American Ambassador to Libya and three associates. Mrs. Clinton is a ‘first female’ follow-on ti the ‘first black president,’ a succeeding hollow candidate gilded by name recognition resulting from promotion by political interests. Unfortunately, we should expect this level of candidate quality from now into the future, so long as the voters put up with it.
As of the moment, despite extensive dissatisfaction with President Obama, no revolution in voter attitudes seems in sight.