When President Obama came along, I can’t say I was much of a supporter, like many I thought if nothing else, we could put to rest, the reigning theme for many people worldwide, that America was to racist a country to ever vote in a black man for President.
Yes it’s not very PC anymore to use ‘black man’ as a description, but then being dishonest; as being “PC” usually means, is not my strong suite. I’m Irish-Indian American, if such a thing can be said that way. My friends, are black, brown, white, and even a little green at times, depending on how much they’ve drank the night before. My point is, that ultimately we’re all Americans, to use any other term just separates us further and is rather disingenuous, even hypocritical if you really think about it.
Color defines a genetic difference, not a characteristic of being more or less intelligent, more or less moral, or any of a number of differences through which people show their fear. Individual hypocrisy continues to breed the idea that some physical trait or characteristic makes someone socially superior. Don’t you wonder at times when we will reach the point that skin color will be no more significant than the color of one’s eyes, the color of their hair, or how tall a person he or she is.
For many of us; whether we were supporters of President Obama or not, we did have the hope that this was the start of new age where color would become less significant in our political affairs and hopefully over time in our personal affairs as well. We’ve removed it from our legal system for the most part, but still there are those who know how to abuse and use the system in the name of color.
It may seem odd, but the one place that equality does seem to have reached equal proportions between all races, is the self involved ability to abuse the republic we live with. Ignorance and social illiteracy does seem to be the one place we can all be equal, sad to say.
President Obama is no better or worse it seems than any other politician we have come to elect to do work in our name. The sad truth for many of his misguided choices actually comes from being intelligently wrong versus the need to be wisely right. The mistake most made; who voted for him, was to expect more from this ‘man’ then any other. At heart I think sometimes the effort to tackle so many problems at once, was more about proving or validating that a person of color is as good as anyone else. I think he bought into that old idea that when women were fighting for equality in the workplace, that they had to be twice as good to be equal.
President Obama in a strict academic sense is very intelligent, but intelligence is the ability to solve a problem, to work through the nature of an obstacle that needs to be removed, to reach the vision of your goal. Wisdom, at least as I define it here, is the ability to see the long term context of an infinite series of decisions you will make in the process of living toward an objective goal.
The trap of a rational mind is to think that they are able to step outside the emotional agenda of their lives more than the rest of us, taking the strength of their virtual rationalizations as facts in the world of our reality. The nature of their emotionally skewed choices does not guide them toward wisdom, but away from it.
President Obama is the example we have now of why experience is important, a moral focus is important, but most of all a strong emotional balance and the understanding of their own natures is most important of all. If you cannot see the effect your own nature has upon your perceptions; something that comes from introspective practice, you lose the ability to see the world as it is, versus the nature of how you thought it should be. How many examples must we have for us to know that being intelligent is not the same as being moral, that being an ethical leader is not the same as being an ethical manager.
I’ve watched as time after time, he proposes what to him seems very rational as to his understanding of financial systems. From his Keynesian prospective I suppose it does seem rational, his intelligence breeds the concept of mathematical perfection, ‘do this, then that’ and you get the result you want.
That is the difference between the academic manager and the artful leader, the ability to see when and how to apply the knowledge at their fingertips, and through trial and error, see the wisdom of their mistakes turned to their successes.
Obama has turned the corner of rationalizations it seems at times, to hypocrisy, for those who bathe in the limelight of public adulation there is after a time, little difference between a person’s rationalizations and hypocrisy. Choosing to be a hypocrite involves more than just saying you believe one way and doing another. Often times it’s the result of intellectual cowardice, sometimes its greed, at other times, it’s the result of a lifetime of rationalizations, where you grow to no longer being able to see the mirror image of who you once were.
In Obama’s case, my impression of his limits are founded in the nature of his academic and activist background, two careers that by their very nature require dissociating ones personality to a specific agenda. The activist, like the lonely car salesman requires one to be emotional and by definition manipulative, and the academic requires objectivity, dissociating themselves from the emotional influences of their minds.
I liken Obama’s problem to many of the actors and actresses we see being so irrational about the simplest of things, but dressing it up in the logic of their notoriety. They live their lives projecting their emotions on Que so much so, that eventually any logic is driven by the context of the emotional nature of their beliefs.
The question we have to ask ourselves is not whether President Obama has made mistakes; that’s rather obvious to even the most myopic mind, but whether we can afford to wait and see if he has the ability and honesty to learn from them.