Thursday, May 22, 2014

Our puppet president

I don’t think Barack Obama is really President of the United States. No, I’m not talking about a “Kenyan-born communist Manchurian candidate” conspiracy. It’s much more below the radar than that, but no less cause for alarm. I don’t think Obama is the person who has his hands on the controls of our ship of state. Other people with names we wouldn’t recognize and benign job titles in offices in the Pentagon, NSA and CIA headquarters, the Federal Reserve and in the C suites of America’s largest companies, run this country. Obama is a figurehead.

I believe this because of the huge chasm that has existed between Obama’s words and reality since he took office in 2009. He advocated for more transparency in government, but we have less, far less. The surveillance state has its tentacles into every facet of our lives and whistleblowers are punished instead of hailed as heroes. He said he’d close Gitmo, but he hasn’t. He said he wanted to move in a new direction after eight years of Bush, but based on the government we have today, it’s like Bush never left the Oval Office. He brings economic inequality to the forefront in speeches, but his economic policies do nothing to change the status quo. He said he wanted to improve our image internationally, but recent polls indicate that citizens of other countries view the United States as the number one threat to world peace.

The Deep State is real and in control. Obama gives the speeches, poses in the photo ops, but the real work of the government is carried out by bureaucrats who are not accountable to the voters. I wonder sometimes about when Obama came to the realization that the President of the United States was merely a title and not a job description. Once you’ve been inaugurated and you’re sitting in the big leather chair in the White House, there isn’t a helluva lot you can do about it. I would think it would be soul-crushing to realize that your vision for America, the vision that voters agreed with, would never become reality, that you would be forced to spend your tenure spinning excuses for why this or that couldn’t be done, or worse, why we need to do things that you find personally reprehensible.

Yes, Obama has had to try and deal with a hostile congress, and that certainly has been a thorn in his side. But that doesn’t adequately explain why we are where we are today as a country. With the exception of the Affordable Care Act, Obama has not used his office to rally Americans around the proposals and policies he advocated as a candidate in 2008. Why? We hear a lot of the same inspiring words and phrases he used six years ago while campaigning, but once the speech is over we don’t see any effort to turn those words into reality.

If this is America’s future, a puppet president willing to dance for the public while unelected bureaucrats run the government, it’s a bleak future that will see a once powerful and admired democracy devolve into a reviled international pariah.

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