President Obama reminds me of the type of man so many single women complain about on a date. He only wants to talk about himself: "But enough about me, now what do you think about me?"
Is there anyone in public life (Bill Clinton once held the title, but is now a private citizen) who better exemplifies the definition of narcissism: "inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity"?
After reading "The Education of a President," one of The New York Times Sunday Magazine's longest articles in recent years, one again is exposed to Obama's superior view of himself. That same weekend in Boston, the president revealed what he thinks of people he is supposed to be serving. He thinks we should serve him.
In Boston at a small Democratic fundraiser, the president said Americans are "scared" about the Nov. 2 election in which Democrats are predicted to become endangered species in the House and possibly neutered in the Senate.
Republican congressional candidates, he said, are "playing on fear." Well, yes, in a way. We have much about which to be fearful, including nationalized health insurance, a debt that is greater than the GDP of most nations, and a messianic attitude by the president who treats anyone who disagrees with him as demonic.
The president also said, "Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument do not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared." Notice how he won't debate the substance of his agenda, but rather dismisses people who disagree with it as illogical and fear-filled. This recalls his comment during the 2008 campaign that people are "bitter" and "they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
The president (and then candidate Obama) sees no merit in any position but his own and mischaracterizes concern about anything for which he stands as ignorant, excessively religious and what might be called "gun-based faith."
This is the hubris of statists, who believe only the state can deliver people from the misery that has, in fact, been largely caused by the state. The state under Obama is robbing us of our liberty. The state has taxed too much and spent too much, placing America in jeopardy and sapping our strength. The state tells increasing numbers they are victims and can't amount to anything without the state, which ensures they will never amount to anything by keeping them submerged in victimization, failing government schools and on the welfare dole.
For the president, to oppose any of this is to oppose the established statist gods and himself as supreme deity. To oppose his agenda is political blasphemy and so the Republican "demons" must be destroyed.
It isn't working largely because people can see for themselves what nearly two years of Obama's socialist, collectivist, and statist policies are doing to the country. They can see for themselves -- yes, through those ignorant eyes and God-dulled brains -- what Obamacare will do to them and not for them. They are not as ignorant as Obama thinks. Because he thinks this way about so many of us, a case could be made that he is the ignorant one. He may be the elected leader of America, but he knows little about the people he is supposed to be leading.
President Obama cannot identify with the American experience. He never served in the military. He never held a real job. He had an easy time in college (where are those transcripts?) and was fast-tracked in his rise to the top. He is attempting to impose an ideology foreign to all but the hard left. It is not based in the American ethic of self-control, hard work and personal responsibility. Rather, it is based on grievance, entitlement and revenge.
This is why the coming election is likely to produce a tsunami-like reaction among the electorate. But the president will probably misinterpret the results to his and his party's detriment in 2012. It can't come soon enough.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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