Life was good for Truman until an actor deviated from the narrative, forcing Truman to confront a reality outside the confines of his scripted life. Truman eventually realized his entire life was a lie, a highly popular fantasy that endured on the strength of the myth and the adoration of millions.
In the same way, recent events in Libya, Egypt, Indonesia and elsewhere in the Muslim world have served to destroy the façade that was and is President Obama’s presidency. Like the entertainment minds that created Truman’s world, the media has carefully constructed and scripted the Obama Presidency, maintaining the narrative that makes an otherwise failed presidency appear successful.
Looking back, it’s not hard to see how and why this occurred. Following the seas-parting pomp and circumstance of the president’s election, President Obama spoke at Cairo University on June 4, 2009 to tell the Islamic world that, echoing Bill Clinton, he felt their pain.
The Chicago by way of Hawaii, Indonesia, and Kenya politician, the first “post-racial” president, revealed that on his watch, America would be in full retreat from the “freedom agenda” advanced by the George W. Bush administration. In word and deed, America would henceforth be a reactionary actor to the recrudescence of radical forces that would eagerly fill the vacuum left by the recession of American leadership.
First came the pathetic, sophomoric mea culpa to assuage the president’s post-colonial guilt complex. Said the president, “More recently, tension has been fed by colonialism that denied rights and opportunities to many Muslims, and a Cold War in which Muslim-majority countries were too often treated as proxies without regard to their own aspirations.”
Continuing this astonishing apologia, President Obama said, “I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.” Most Americans were rightly alarmed to hear their President moonlighting as chief spokesman for CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations. More broadly, Islamists were on notice the game had changed; they had won a huge symbolic victory without firing a shot. The American president announced his priority was fighting anti-Islamic bias, not Islamist terrorism.