Even on those occasions when I voted for the person becoming president, I have never been fond of presidential inaugurations. With their pomposity and their theatrical bestowing of hero worship on a single human being who has yet to do one thing as president, these affairs strike me as being dressed in the trappings of monarchy. They revel in everything the American presidency is not supposed to be.
Since my problems with inaugurations apply to all of them, I will refrain from criticizing yesterday’s brown-nosing of a Democrat and instead focus strictly on President Barack Obama’s speech. It was good, but far from great -- and in the ways it fell short, it fell markedly short.
Rather than staking his own positions and annunciating his own ideals, Obama was clearly trying to mimic both the theme and tone of JFK’s 1961 inaugural address. Admittedly, there’s no shame in that because JFK’s address was one of the finest in our history and who’s to say Obama did not mean every word he said? But on the important issues that will impact the country and determine Obama’s place in history, he came across as an unconvincing lightweight who has taken little time to think things through.
A perfect case in point was the following statement: “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West -- know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” Of course it sounds good, but if you spend more than a half-second thinking about it, you realize it’s a pile of ridiculousness topped with naivety.
No figurehead on the planet who identifies himself as a leader of “the Muslim world” has ever expressed the slightest interest in “mutual interest and mutual respect.” To the contrary, those leaders have long expressed a belief that God has called upon them to kill any non-Muslims who fail to convert to Islam. It is obvious that Obama’s brief comments, made while accepting the presidency of a nation those leaders routinely call “The Great Satan,” will make not a bit of difference to them…and thus, his comments don't even stand a chance of doing us any good.
As for his pronouncement that “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist,” where is it that history provides even the slightest evidence that tyrants will lay down their swords in order to recieve financial assistance or humanitarian TLC? Tyrants lay down their swords only when they know their adversary will kill them before compromising with them.
By constantly mentioning himself in the same breath as Abraham Lincoln -- and wanting to take the oath of office using the very same Bible than was used in Lincoln’s inauguration 148 years ago -- and traveling to the inauguration by train just as Lincoln did -- Barack Obama has given us many reasons to think he is a self-absorbed man with delusions of grandeur. These are not the first instances in which he has given us reasons to view him that way, but, dutiful to the end, the MSM has not and will not point this out.
Obama's personality is the kind that often leads men to rise spectacularly...only to blind them to their imperfections and lure them into a fall that is more spectacular and consequential than the rise. The problem is, if Obama's pride proves to be his undoing, it will not be just him who bears the consequences. It will be us and our children.