Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Tragedy of Our Own Doing

When President Obama wooed the enthusiastic crowd with his change mantra and the chant of "Yes we can", it seemed indeed a new era was to begin.

Alas.  It was not so.  Convinced by his own amazing ability to transform, Obama reached out to his opponent with open arms and weapons laid down.  Unfortunately, his ability to transform the bitter politics, which he obvious had no taste for, was only an illusion.  He could surely inspire but he could not transform.  The country is as divided as never before.

In his first two years as president, he stood aloofly behind Nancy Pelosi and her foot soldiers, who were pushed to make lonely and tough calls, and surrendered many points before his jousting with the Republican began.  Reluctant to criticize the people he wanted to embrace, he didn't use many crises as educational moments, refused to engage the people in the process of any change, kept mum about his plans and ideas and the motivations behind them.  Consequently, he allowed his irresponsible but smart opponents to outmaneuver him in every step and successfully framed the debate in their terms therefore won over many voters who have been conditioned not to have independent thinking of any kind. 

Many people from the left wrung their hands and bemoan the weakness or betrayal of Obama.  No, Obama is exactly what he said he would be during the campaign, the fault lies on the insistence of his enthusiastic supporters seeing through rose-colored lenses.  Now, they are reaping what they sowed.

If laying down one's weapon in front of enemies is the criteria for a hero, Obama won his medal.  If a fighter needed to be our president, the old Obama is not the right person to fit the bill.  He can be a fighter but it seemed all too late.

The failure of Obama to communicate and engage, was as tragic as the personal failure of Bill Clinton.  Both had such promises and both floundered.  This time, tragedy is not Obama's, or even Pelosi and her soldiers, of which many will fall next week.  The tragedy is of our nation's.

Domesticity / 家居 / Häuslichkeit
Domesticity © Matthew Felix Sun

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