Peter, we should also remember that Barack Obama was speaking to a seven-year-old. His answer to her question as to why he is running for president was essentially: “The country is going down the tubes.” Really, this is the inspirational message he is giving to a child?
Aside from his lack of recognition of the improvements and advances the entire country has made, Obama never gives much indication (even when talking to grown-ups) that he truly appreciates his own journey and the enormous wealth and fame his meager accomplishments have allowed him to attain. No message of “I want everyone to enjoy the advantages I have had” crosses his lips. One would think he would want to encourage, perhaps even by way of explaining his own story, the little girl’s faith in America, not depress her. His surly indifference to our nation’s and his own good fortune is more than a little troubling. And it’s a really bad example to set for children.
It is interesting to note the difference between Obama and another candidate offering inspirational change, Ronald Reagan. Reagan didn’t excuse or overlook our problems: our economy was in distress, taxes were too high, our military was decrepit, and the incumbent president was incapable of leading. These were problems of poor policy and misguided government, not fundamental failings of the American people or of our values or economic system. But his message was entirely uplifting : we can overcome momentary set backs because we are Americans. (And these bumps on the road do not mark our decline.) By contrast, Obama’s message seems to be: the country’s a mess, which is why you need me. Have we ever witnessed a more depressing and self-centered vision?