I certainly did not expect President Obama to be strong on defense. But I did expect him at least to be inspiring. Boy, was I wrong. President Obama appears to be breaking new ground in leadership. He has developed a style all his own: leadership by low expectations. Rather than inspiration, more often he takes the approach of de-spiration. Let's pretend that is a word, meaning to drain the very spirit and aspirations out of those listening to you and those you are ostensibly seeking to lead.
Just imagine if Coach Nick Saban told his Alabama players and booster base before the season, “We are going to lose some games. But we'll bounce back and be stronger. We can absorb those losses.” Saban would soon be looking for another job. Football fans and players want to be inspired, to win championships, not be told to expect six or seven wins. Instead, Saban will tell his fan base, “We intend to win a championship. Nothing else will satisfy us. We will take each game one at a time, but make no mistake, the trophy at the end is our goal.” That inspires. And players do best when they live up to high inspirational expectations. Does a goal of being average motivate you to get up at 5:00 am in the morning to lift weights during a long, hot summer? Or give your hard-earned money to a football program? Hardly.
But that average 6-6 season appears to be Obama's benchmark for success, particularly when it comes to two key areas of American leadership right now: terrorism and economy. Obama is sucking the very aspirations out of the people. Aspirations for bold resolve in national security. And aspirations for economic recovery and prosperity.
Regarding our fight against terror, Obama told Bob Woodward several months ago, "We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever ... we absorbed it and we are stronger." Good to know that terror attacks are good for us. After all, what's a few thousand dead civilians between friends? Sure, we will try to fight, but we need to learn to accept terror. In other words…Resignation rather than resolve. Feel de-spired yet?
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