September 22, 2011

Love, Loyalty and Leadership

At a meeting of the American Historical Society at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893, historian Frederick Jackson Turner proposed the Turner Thesis: America is unique—as are Americans—because unlike every other nation, we had a West to conquer. This both revealed and forged our unique national character. It taught us the meaning—meaning unique to Americans—of love, loyalty and leadership.

Fast-forward to September 14, 2011, North Carolina State University at Raleigh, a venue friendly—to say the least—to President Barack Obama. Mr. Obama is demanding, like an endlessly looped, stuck recording, that Congress pass his latest, non-existent, half-trillion dollar retread jobs bill. "I love you, Barack," blurts a voice from the adoring crowd. "I love you back," he replies, "but if you love me, you've got to help me pass this bill!" Mr. Obama's love is apparently conditional: one must first accept and actively support ruinous, socialist fiscal policies. What is most remarkable about this bizarre morality play is that it is utterly unsurprising and unremarkable.

Let's return to the beginning, to May 14, 1787, the State House in Philadelphia, the Constitutional Convention. There is no question of the president of the Convention. George Washington serves his new nation yet again. There is no oxymoronic leading from behind. Washington scarcely utters a word throughout the Convention; his steady presence is more than sufficient.

When the Constitution is finally ratified in 1788 there is no question of America's first president. With reluctance, George Washington serves once more. As he rides to New York to take the oath of office, Americans turn out to wish him well all along the way and he is moved to tears by their sincere appreciation for his character and accomplishments, yet he is distinctly uncomfortable for he knows that his example will establish precedence for all time for all who follow him. The adulation, even worship of kings and potentates can never be allowed to take hold in America. Washington is determined that there be no cults of personality.

Washington serves honorably, but always looking to the day when he owes no more to the future. He knows that the presidency is his for life—a virtual kingship is his—yet he chooses to close that option, not only for himself, for all. Other presidents--notably Bill Clinton--will flirt with a lifetime presidency, but Americans have always rejected such narcissistic overtures.

The Bible tells us that there is no greater love than that a man lay down his life for another. Americans have always embodied and practiced this love without reservation, not only for friends, but foreign strangers. True love is reserved for family and for those few friends whose character and accomplishments render them worthy of such devotion. Our forefathers the pioneers took these lessons to heart and passed them down, for they understood through hard experience upon whom they could rely.

Love cannot be wasted on politicians, for such is the infatuation of the teenage girl for the rock star regardless of how momentarily intensely felt. Loyalty to such people is wasted, for it cannot be reciprocated. Their loyalty is only to themselves, for most recognize no one and nothing greater than themselves. Their fame and popularity, based on the fickle preferences of crowds, propaganda and craven media support are ephemeral--fleeting. We owe our elected representatives only deference for their positions. Respect must be earned, each and every day, and freely given in recognition of character, morality and accomplishment.

For Americans, personal loyalty must be carefully, selectively bestowed. Few politicians are worthy of the least bit of it. Above all, it is given willingly, without reservation and with justifiable pride in America, to the American idea and ideals, to our national faith in what Americans alone can accomplish for good. What politician that does not gladly give his loyalty to America is worthy of the loyalty of a single American? The ultimate loyalty of all Americans must never be invested in politicians, for all fail, all pass away, but only in America which must ever endure.

While common in our military, true leadership is hardly common in our presidents. Election to office does not a leader make, though some would point to the fact that they have managed to be elected to several offices as proof of accomplishment and leadership. Leadership arises out of steadfast character and genuine accomplishment. Washington, Lincoln, Truman, Reagan, all men of character and real accomplishment rose to the challenge of the office. Barack Obama, a man famous for being famous, accomplished for being elected, has not and cannot.

Conservative radio host Andrew Wilcow suggests that the Obama sycophant expressing their love for Mr. Obama in Raleigh may have been a plant. This is a possibility not to be discounted for a White House infamous for its shameless stage-managing of Mr. Obama's public appearances, and which may be smarting from accusations that without his teleprompter, Mr. Obama is stilted and clumsy.

In either case, spontaneous or scripted, love expressed for a politician reveals a fundamental disconnect, even a repudiation of America.

Politician love is utterly misplaced, the stuff of cult-of-personality dictatorships. It reveals a sickness of the individual and national soul. Prior to Barack Obama, newsmen calling any president a god, worshiping the creases of their trousers, expressing amazement and admiration for their fly-swatting abilities or serially depicting them as pseudo religious icons with halos would have been thought deranged, but where Mr. Obama is concerned, such lunacy has become daily fair, remarkable only in its most insanely outrageous manifestations. In its intention and intensity, it is anti American, it rejects the example of Washington and embraces the worst aspects of the narcissism and vanity of the world's despots.

Mr. Obama is not worthy of the respect of any American. His character and accomplishments before and after assuming the presidency reveal a hollow man, a man who has actually admitted that he is an empty vessel—tabula rasa—a blank slate upon which the hopes—even the fantasies--of anyone may be drawn. Being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, not for any accomplishment—his chair behind the Resolute Desk was hardly warm—but for being Barack Obama, for some possible future accomplishment--is a case in point. Mr. Obama admitted that he deserved it not, yet revealed the depth of his character by accepting it knowing it to partially represent a crude slap in the face of America. This is a man whose loyalty is always to self, never America, which he sees as unremarkable, just one of many nations. He is a man who proudly announces his leadership from behind, who proposes non-existent bills and demands they be immediately passed, and who seeks to address ruinous deficits of his creation by means of class warfare and by creating yet greater deficits. This is a man who tolerates his Vice President calling fellow Americans "terrorist" and "barbarian" for daring to embrace the Constitution and demand fiscal responsibility.

The presidency of Barack Obama is the embodiment of a national holiday from responsibility and history. It is a departure from traditional and necessary American understandings of love, loyalty and leadership and a perversion of those essential, noble ideals. That such publically expressed, fawning devotion to a politician, particularly one of such abysmal character and destructive, anti-American intentions and accomplishment seems unremarkable to so many must stand as an urgent warning. It is an unmistakable indicator of how far we have allowed ourselves to stray from the path of liberty so carefully established by George Washington and so lovingly, carefully maintained by many that have followed him. It is a warning we fail to heed at our peril.

Posted by MikeM at September 22, 2011 09:33 PM

They politicians aren't our leaders. They our paid employees. If Americans would wake up and realize that when they go to the ballot box we might be able to drop all this partisan, support my party like it's a sports team crap and realize they are almost all in on the same crony capitalism scam.

Posted by: styrgwillidar at September 23, 2011 09:55 AM

Calls to mind one of the Romero zombie flicks, not sure which one, zombie boyfriend to cheerleader "If you loved me you'd let me eat your braiins! Well...okay."

Posted by: Rey B at September 25, 2011 08:49 AM