I’m sure someone’s said it before, but Obama is remarkably consistent in his approach to everything. For example, he believes that people who have been subject to systemic disrespect become violent or criminal. If you show them the respect they need, they will stop behaving in that way. He therefore believes that his job as America’s leader is to correct systemic disrespect which will, in turn, cause them to give up their bad behaviors and embrace good ones.
I believe in respect too. My feeling is that you respect people by demanding of them the same good behavior you demand of yourselves. That’s not the Obama way, though. Just a few examples should suffice:
I believe that African-Americans are not doing well because Democrat policies infantilize them and encourage them to be helpless victims rather than people in control of their own destinies. I believe that the best thing we can do for African-Americans is to offer them a free market, equal opportunities under the law, and the right, finally, to be free from government meddling, whether that meddling is badly or well intentioned.
Obama, however, believes that all problems in the African-American community — from poverty, to single motherhood, to crime — come about because America’s predominantly white society has failed to respect blacks. He further believes that the way to confer respect on them and encourage future good behavior is perpetual welfare and insulation from the consequences of their own actions. That hasn’t worked out well. Black unemployment and crime rates (especially racially-associated crime rates) are up.
I believe that Hispanic illegal immigrants are law-breakers, cheat people who are playing by the rules, destroy the legal American working and middle class, and allow tyrannies to continue in their native lands by siphoning off the working population and sending back cash. I believe that America, a nation of immigrants, should continue to encourage people to come here from foreign lands — but we should do so on our terms, not theirs, in order to protect our borders, our sovereignty, our public health, our crime rates, and our economy, and so as to disempower those Latin American nations that profit by sending us their labor and taking back our cash (cash that could have been in legal American hands).
Obama believes that illegal immigrants are being denied the respect. It is this disrespect that makes them “live in the shadows.” Obama further believes that the way to confer respect on illegal Hispanic immigrants, thereby bringing them out of the shadows, is blanket amnesty (which automatically erases that shadowy “law-breaker” status), followed by welfare. With this level of respect conferred on the illegal immigrants already here, he hints to Americans that the flow of illegal immigrants crossing our borders to demand our respect will stop. It’s worth pointing out that the more “respect” Obama shows illegal immigrants who are already here, the more of them keep flowing across our borders.
And of course, I believe that the Iranian Republic is a fanatic, tyrannical Islamic theocracy that has, since its inception, dedicated itself to the complete destruction of Israel, the Islamic takeover of America, and control over the Muslim Middle East. To this end, it has spent the past 36 years fomenting Islamic terror and revolution the world over.
Obama, however, sees a nation disrespected and misunderstood. He believes that the root cause of its violent, genocidal, world domination attitude is that it has been subject to this emotionally hurtful lack of respect and understanding. The same craving for respect has powered its nuclear ambitions. Obama’s answer to Iran’s bad behavior is to treat the root cause: Give Iran respect. And of course, in Obama-land the way to give respect to a fanatic, genocidal, terrorist nation is to give it unfettered access to nuclear weapons. Obama is remarkably clear in his believe that, once it achieves its nuclear ambitions, the sense of respect this will confer on Iran will cause it instantly to lay down the same nuclear weapons it just perfected.
Obama is quite obviously an ideological fool, who is blinded to the realities of human nature, most specifically how humans react to power, incentives, and punishments. Don’t confuse that for stupidity, though, his handling of Israel has been masterful since the very first day of his presidency. He has moved Israel into increasingly smaller boxes to the point at which Israel is now locked tightly into a box with a very large target painted on it. I’m with the Commentary editors in that I see no good outcome here.
Oh, and one more thing: Obama clearly grew up feeling that he, a mixed-race American child in Indonesia’s anti-American streets and Hawaii’s ultra exclusive enclaves, didn’t get the respect he deserved. The way he responds to this root cause problem remarkably parallels his take on Iran’s response to a lack of respect: He punishes his enemies and has no problem with the possibility of their annihilation. Indeed, as I mentioned vis-a-vis Israel, he seems to share with Iran those same genocidal urges that seem to be the last resort of those feeling disrespected.
In other words, when it comes to his own enemies, trying to change their bad behavior by showing them respect is a concept that goes right out the window.