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Leadership is Certainly Hard to Come By

*The following was my opening monologue to start my internet radio show “Gillespie” airing Tuesdays at 7pm on FTRradio.com.  In case you miss the show I will be posting these here every Wednesday following the Tuesday show.*

Poor Barack Obama. On election night 2008, then President-elect Obama walked out onto a huge stage in Chicago’s Grant Park to rapturous applause announcing the arrival of a new savior. Here was the man who was going to heal the earth, befriend the Muslims, repair all racial divisions, and even fix the economy. All of this before lunch.

October 2010 has arrived and Barack Obama is a colossal failure. A failure of epic proportions, one that Homer, author of the epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey, not Homer Simpson, could easily write volumes and volumes of tales about. A failure to such a degree that not only does Jimmy Carter appear to be a strong executive in comparison, a recent poll showed him in a virtual tie with former President George W. Bush.

All hyperbole aside, I take no pride in saying these words. I am not a gleeful partisan who’s happily piling on to the incomparable failure who happens to be from another party. I say this as a proud American, one who is both enormously proud of his country while remaining deeply concerned for her future. These are dark days for your nation, and while the American people are staring down into the abyss, they’d like to be able to take comfort in knowing that the man who is leading them is capable of shutting the door and helping to turn things towards a brighter future.

Barack Obama is entirely incapable of being that man. Sitting in the grand office inside the White House’s West Wing must be a thoroughly humbling experience. To be in that chair and to know that you are the most powerful man who has ever lived is something none of us have any understanding of. The ability to make a single phone call and bomb an entire civilization out of existence provides a level of power that men will literally sell their souls to experience, and the graveyard of American politics is littered with the headstones of many men who’ve done so.

Barack Obama appears to be a man who is in love with having that kind of power as well as basking in the glow of adoration that accompanied his stunning rise to power. Here’s a man who wrote not one, but two memoirs before his mid-forties, and before actually accomplishing a single thing of note…beyond writing those memoirs. It’s as if someone actually sat down to write a book describing to the world just how amazing that person is, and that’s precisely what Obama has done. Even worse is that tens of millions of people looked to him as the man who would lead them out of darkness and into their own version of a promised land, a land where women could remove the hardship of pregnancy at their whim, a land where evil corporations are dismantled and given their due, a land where anyone can walk into any medical facility and demand treatment, regardless of means to pay.

And leading them to their imagined promised land was a Noah of mixed blood, a man who positioned himself as the prophet of the new post-racial society he hinted was coming. A man who could simply will things into existence simply by speaking (or reading) the proper words.

A huge part of leadership is certainly symbolic, with Winston Churchill being the most obvious example. Churchill understood the power of words and the imagery those words could create. But, Churchill had credibility with the British people. He had a long record of public service, including a distinguished time as a war leader during World War I. After serving as a respected cabinet member, he actually resigned his post in order to go to France and serve in the trenches among the men, putting himself into harm’s way in order to be among the men he loved. And those men dearly loved him in return.

To Barack Obama, hardship is when he can’t see the words on his beloved teleprompter. He lacks the required credibility to lead simply because he’s never done so, instead choosing to spend his life among the academic elites praised by a mother who yearned to be one herself while honoring the memory of a father who also failed to reach such heights. The White House staff is literally the first organization he’s ever lead in his entire life. Instead, his political career has been spent making backroom deals and casting votes out of political expediency. He was a legislator known for jumping out in front of parades almost as often as he voted “present”.

The evidence of such an unimpressive legislative career is the mixed bag of legislation that he’s rammed through in order to create his version of a cherished Utopia on the shores of America. His speeches about both the stimulus package and his much-touted health care reform package were typically eloquent and overstated. He said all the right things, the very same words which had initially convinced so many to anoint him in the first place.

Problem is, it eventually came time to perform, and his performance has been an abject failure. The stimulus package which promised hundreds of billions towards “shovel-ready” projects which would prevent unemployment from reaching eight percent instead turned out to be a pork-stuffed monstrosity filled with sham payouts and gifts to the unions who are vital to his Presidency. His even more highly-touted health care reform package not only needed a sleazy backroom-maneuver to pass, but has proven to be exactly the opposite of what he promised, at least if you judge the tens of thousands of workers looking at the likelihood of losing their own coverage, in direct contradiction to the grandiose promises President Obama read from his teleprompter.

Just like the mythical Icarus, our own tragic hero is just now crashing to earth. Democrat-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling is now forced to admit that their savior is suffering huge declines in popularity, even in states so reliably blue that we often tag them with the moniker of “People’s Republic of…”. The denizens of those states have seemingly awoken from the deep slumber of 2008, no doubt due to their hopeychangey pills wearing off. Understanding that admitting there actually is a problem is the first step to recovery, I eagerly anticipate a renewal of sanity in this great nation of ours.

I ask you to join me in praying, both for our nation and for its leadership. While we’ve already had one morning in America, who’s to say the sun can’t rise once again?

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