Hoping for Change: America in Crisis Needs Leadership not Rhetoric

Hope & Change purportedly signaled the end of all the “Bush regime” represented–misguided policy that harmed America at home and abroad–as well as the return of a strong and capable leader capable of skillfully guiding US interests through the current minefield of economic catastrophe and terrorist threats. Unfortunately, the news media, still giddily wallowing in an obsession entirely of its own creation, is the last to come to the clear realization that Hope & Change was no more than a campaign slogan–appealing rhetoric intended to propel an inexperienced and naïve would be celebrity into a very real and challenging position as the nation’s highest elected official. Under President Bush, many Americans complained of policy drift–murky ventures seemingly offering little promise to Americans at home or abroad. Under President Obama, prior concerns of policy drift have been eclipsed by a much greater threat of policy submersion. That is, America seems to have entered into a new era marked by the complete absence of leadership.

Under the current administration, just shy of 50%–or one-half–of cabinet nominations were awarded to confirmed tax cheats–the type of crime for which normal people spend hard time in jail–criminals, or individuals marked by other noteworthy flaws. Obama’s selection for Treasury Secretary–the office responsible for collecting taxes no less–was discovered to have intentionally cheated the government out of more than $100,000 in tax payments. He was nonetheless confirmed because America was ensured that his unique skills and knowledge were absolutely necessary at this time of financial crisis. However, the administration’s recently released “plan” to remedy the flailing credit markets have been met with ridicule and derision–even snickering–by lawmakers, reportedly annoyed by its clear naiveté and superficial understanding of the mounting problems facing our nation.

The campaign is long over, and America is now in dire need of real Hope & Change–not campaign rhetoric but real hope fueled by positive improvements. In short it is time for the Celebrity–elect to deliver on perhaps one or two of his many promises to America. Unfortunately, it is becoming clearer by the day that President Obama is as capable of meeting America’s needs in this moment of crisis as a Hollywood movie star can perform epic feats in real life, sans the special effects studio. For it is necessary to distinguish President Obama the person from the cartoon-like candidate–a fictional superhero created by a news media all too willing to lend enthusiastic, uncritical support to anyone who might champion their favorite causes. Consequently, it should not come as any surprise that the “plan” unveiled by the Obama administration to rescue the nation from a financial crisis worsening by the minute is in fact superficial, naïve, or lacking in substance. This is because it was created by Obama, the mortal man, and not the mythical candidate, capable of doing no wrong.

As our nation’s economy falters and plunges into a recessionary abyss, President Obama has apparently only one thing on his mind: ensuring that all those who contributed to his $600 million plus war chest are handsomely repaid. Clearly, the economy is not even a close second. The stimulus bill, as economists note, will do little to nothing to stimulate the economy–new cars for government employees, new grass on the Mall in Washington D.C., generous payments to campaign donors–but it does enrich those who, in placing the Celebrity-elect into office, willingly overlooked the fact his qualifications were woefully inadequate, at a time in our nation’s history when those qualifications could not have been more crucial. Our nation faces severe problems requiring the President to exercise real leadership. President Obama’s lack of preparation for the job, and his clear status as an absentee leader, serve as painful reminders that America’s future–both economically and in terms of the ever present threat of strategic terror against US interests–are not in good hands.

The US faces real and mounting economic woes. The full extent of the credit crisis is in fact deeper and more severe than has yet to be revealed publicly. Chanting amateurish campaign slogans, no matter how well intended, will not eradicate these problems. Rather, they will require leadership, skill, knowledge, and wisdom to solve–even then it is likely that the US will have to restructure, similar to a corporation that goes through a bankruptcy, since the total obligations created by the credit crisis likely exceed the total supply of money in the system. These are events that would have caused great leaders like Abraham Lincoln or George Washington to shudder. The likelihood that a President Obama–the man, that is, versus the fictional candidate–will be anywhere near to the task is almost certainly zero.

America’s only real hope of surviving this crisis period, including the real probability of default and the collapse of the US dollar, is to insist that President Obama–the man, that is–step aside as the only realistic means of delivering on the promises of his alter-ego–”the mythical candidate.. The Obama honeymoon was fun while it lasted–fantasies always are–but they never last. America today stands at her darkest hour since her founding, while the bells silently toll. Her enemies threaten at the front door–and will almost assuredly strike again–while the rising tides from the financial crisis threaten to submerge our economy once and for all. Barack Obama–the celebratory would be leader–lacks the foresight, experience, knowledge, and tenacity to defend America from these enemies. If America does not wake up from this soap operatic fantasy with its mythic superhero, the American way of life, as we currently know it, will almost assuredly vanish.

Within the illusory world of Hope & Change, mantra trumps reason and fantasy is considered more powerful than reality. Unfortunately, for America, the problems and enemies she faces are real rather than imaginary, and will not be succumbed by toy pistols or make believe slogans that ultimately mean nothing. If fantasy is to give way to truth at this time of dire need, America can do no less than to demand that her highest leader is in fact not an illusion.