Barack Obama came to office promising to heal the planet (I didn’t know it was sick), lower the waters, and end war as we knew it “whilst waking on water squirting wine out his ass,” to borrow William S. Burroughs’s anti-Christian blasphemy in Naked Lunch. (Funny. I don’t recall reading about Christians blowing up embassies over that book’s publication.)
Four years later, The One might want to let the waters rise. Maybe they’ll put out the fires in the Middle East.
When Obama took office, the only international hotspots were Afghanistan and Iraq, where allied forces, led by the USA, had Iraq all but tamed. Afghanistan was ready for a surge to bring that conflict into its waning days.
Four years later, The One sees Chinese demonstrators threatening nuclear annihilation of Japan, Iran warming up its nuclear arsenal, Israel preparing to forcibly demilitarize Iran, and American embassies under deadly attack around the world.
When Obama took office, he promised that Muslim hostility would ease.
Four years later, Muslims around the world feel free to rape and murder ambassadors from the USA.
The most common mistake made by man in looking forward is believing that the future will be a linear progression of the recent past. Nassim Nicholas Taleb wrote a book about this fallacy. So did William Strauss and Neil Howe.
History does not move in a linear progression for long. Events interrupt the best laid plans. This is why I don’t really care much about a candidate’s position on issues of the day, except as guideposts to understanding the candidate’s world view and mindset. The issues that weigh on an office holder are usually very different from the ones he campaigned on. Instead, I want to know why the candidate takes a position. What’s his moral and philosophical reasoning for arriving at a conclusion.
More importantly, we should ask if a candidate has the temperament to deal with crises and the humility to realize that his grand strategy might fall victim to Black Swans.
Barack Obama has proven he lacks the temperament required of the American President. We always knew he was born without humility.
It’s time for him to go.