Okay, the occasion for our worries is as follows.
Barack Obama, his enemies swept from the field by an adoring media, the ranks of his army swollen by the foolish and the guilt-ridden, has marched triumphantly into Washington DC. His polls are off-the-charts. He remains pretty sure, therefore, that he’s still got most of the American electorate fooled.
The likes of Vladimir Putin, Mamoud Ahmadinejad, and Wen Jiabao are not, alas, quite as easy to hypnotize. They’re also not averse to murder, whether retail or wholesale. They don’t lose much sleep worrying over European public opinion. And they sure don’t give a flip if it’s getting too warm for the polar bears.
So, if Obama is already starting to look weak to a few of us American poodles, you can imagine how he looks to the wolves.
That’s the worry. Among others.
Here’s the hope. Bear with me.
When I was a kid, though I was a great reader, I was not surrounded by books. Bookstores were few; libraries poorly stocked. Something, however, that always seemed to be available was the work of the science fiction “Grand Master” Robert Heinlein. I read his stories; I read his juveniles (now: young adult); I read his novels. One novel was called Double Star. It’s far from his best but, because of what it has to say about the formation of human character, the plot has always stuck with me.
Goes like this: A first-rate politician/statesman is kidnapped; a second-rate actor is forced into taking his place. This impersonation is successful in the short term and then, when the statesman dies, must be continued for the remainder of the actor’s life. Happily for one and all, in the course of pretending to be a great man, the actor becomes one.
Now, how –applied to the case of B. Obama– is this scenario any different than the usual “rising to the occasion” or “growing in office” phenomenon? In this way. I think. Obama is a bit –maybe more than a bit– of a con man. I think there’s ample evidence of this. He’s been performing one role or another for most of his life. Activist. Churchgoer. Man of letters. Political reformer. In a profession filled with consummate liars, admit it: the guy’s got game.
So, I’m thinkin’, if anyone can fake greatness, Obama can. And, in faking it, perhaps he can achieve it. At least enough to help the country and get us through the present mess.
It’s an idea, anyway.