Friday, September 19, 2014

President Obama's Judgment V. the People's Judgment

Any social order which can function well with a minimum of leadership will be anathema to the intellectual

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983), American longshoreman, moral and social philosopher, In The True Believer (1951)

I collect Eric Hoffer books. I think of him as "His Earthiness", a man with his feet solidly on the ground.

Among other things, Hoffer has said you cannot trust an intellectual to be President because he does not reflect the sentiments of the people.

Obama considers himself as one of the elite, who knows what needs to be done.

President Obama has inpeccable academic credentials – Columbia University, Harvard Law, and Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Chicago. He is smart. He is a real, genuine, certified intellectual, with two best-seller books on the New York Times book list. He is a smooth talker. He is facile with words, especially when reading from a teleprompter. He is quick with concepts. He absorbs data and information like a sponge. He is an integral inseparable part of the Media-academic-Washington-elite-policy Complex.

But he may be out of out of touch with the populace, as evidenced by these latest Real Clear Politics polls based on average results of major national polls.

• Obama Job Approval, Approve 41.3%, Disapprove 53.4%

• Direction of Country, Right direction, 27.4%, wrong direction 64.6%

• Approval of Health Law, favor 41.3%, oppose 51.4%

Is it possible the President lacks wisdom and judgment on how best to lead the country, how to get the country behind him on critical issues relating to the economy, to joblessness, to health care, to foreign affairs? Is it possible the President is too long on rhetoric but too short on results?

Does he lack the wisdom to lead the country? Does he understand wisdom of crowds, whose support he needs and who must live under his leadership? Is the President like the man described by Albert Camus (1913-1960), who said, “An intelligent man on one plane can be a fool on the others.”

To Peggy Noonan, a staunch Republican writing in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, “ The Unwisdom of Barach Obama – Is He Weak? Arrogant? Ambivalent?"

Noonan say the President’s problems– his being out of touch on economic issues, health care, foreign affairs, his own advisers and generals – is not lack of wisdom.

It is simply poor judgment , of not seeing the domestic and global forests as seen by others while looking too intently at his own trees.

“He has very poor judgment. Maybe all this is the president's clever way of letting time pass, letting things play out, so that in a few months the public fever to do something—he always thinks the public has a fever—will be over. And he will then be able to do little, which perhaps is what he wants.But none of this looks clever. It looks like poor judgment beginning to end.”

For President Obama, his day of judgment is approaching in 46 days with the November 4 midterm elections. We shall see then whose judgment prevails - his or that of the people.

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