My question is, why did it take them so long to discover this? Barack Obama’s foreign policy has borne the mark of inexperience since before he began running for president. Right from his first moments on the national stage he has been advocating guileless solutions to difficult problems.
Recall that this was the man who wanted to bring the Iranian mullahs to reason by the simple expedient of sitting down and talking with them. Once they realized that he was prepared to respect their interests, they would obviously cease being belligerent.
This was also the man who went on an apology tour through Muslim lands to reach out the hand of friendship. Here, too, he believed that once people who mistakenly distrusted us realized we no longer had aggressive intentions, they would embrace us as fellow human beings.
Obama likewise seriously advocated reducing our atomic weapon stockpile to nearly nothing in the expectation that this would set a good international example. Other nations would be so impressed by our sincerity that they too would dismantle their nuclear programs.
But Obama’s naivete was not confined to foreign policy. It also permeated his domestic initiatives. After all, this was the man who gave us a trillion dollar stimulus in order to jump-start the economy. That it was loaded with pork for his political cronies somehow escaped his attention.
But then he argued that these funds would get out into the economy to do the job because they featured “shovel-ready” projects. Folks on the other side of the aisle warned that this was not true, but he scoffed at them for being obstructionists. Then, when shovel-ready turned out not to be shovel-ready, he merely laughed off the inconvenience.
And, of course, there is the Obamacare debacle. The president’s “Affordable Care Act” was supposed to supply quality medical services to tens of millions more people while simultaneously lowering costs and making zero changes in the medical insurance programs that were functional.
This too turned out to be an adolescent mirage. As, needless to say, were the president’s promises to cut the deficit in half by eliminating waste and fraud, and to make the government more transparent by opening its internal operations to public scrutiny.
But the real mystery is why have the American people been so naive as to swallow this grab bag of unsophisticated misadventures. Remember, it has been less than a year since they re-elected Obama after having experienced four years of inflated gobbledygook and economic stagnation.
Why, specifically, didn’t young people notice that there were fewer jobs available to them when they graduated college? Forced to return to their childhood bedrooms, just as Paul Ryan warned, weren’t they mature enough to connect the dots and realize that Obama’s policies had something to do with this?
And why didn’t women appreciate the fact that free contraceptives did not compensate for having to postpone marriages and families because these were too costly to manage during what was turning out to be The Great Recession?
As for minority members, their love affair with a black president was understandable, but could they not recognize that they were paying dearly for their loyalty? As the first to be fired and the last to be hired, they were falling further behind their fellow citizens with each passing day.
Childishness can be charming when exhibited by children. When, however, a president and those who voted for him manifest it, it can be frightening. In this case, it places the rest of us in mortal danger — both at home and abroad. Growing up is apparently difficult, but a nation converted into a romper room is in deep trouble.
Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D., is a professor of sociology at Kennesaw State University.