Obama, the Self-Proclaimed Visionary

President Obama has received some well-deserved mockery for his factually inaccurate swipes at President Rutherford B. Hayes (yes, really) and Christopher Columbus’s contemporaneous critics. But his comments, made during his campaign-rally-esque energy address yesterday, are also revealing because of what they indicate about Obama himself. From his speech:

“Of course, we’ve heard this kind of thinking before.  If some of these folks were around when Columbus set sail, they must have been founding members of the Flat Earth Society.  … There always have been folks who are the naysayers and don’t believe in the future, and don’t believe in trying to do things differently.  One of my predecessors, Rutherford B. Hayes, reportedly said about the telephone, ‘It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?’ That’s why he’s not on Mt. Rushmore because he’s looking backwards.  He’s not looking forwards.  He’s explaining why we can’t do something, instead of why we can do something.”

In Obama’s mind, his critics aren’t just wrong, they’re idiots. Obama, in contrast, is a grand visionary of epic capacity – the type of man who in the past would have ended up on Mt. Rushmore or captaining the voyage that led to the discovery of America.

0
Shares
Google+ Print

Obama, the Self-Proclaimed Visionary

Must-Reads from Magazine

The Shame of Defaming Seth Rich

The conspiracy theorizing has to stop.

Seth Rich was 27 when he was killed on a dark street in a sketchy neighborhood in the nation’s capital last July. He has become world-famous in the past month because his corpse is being used as a proxy in the war over the reputation of Donald J. Trump. Enraged media figures on the Right who believe Trump is being unjustly accused of colluding with Russia have turned to the Rich story to offer their audiences an alternate potential crime to chew on—one in which they can hint at the possibility that Democrats had one of their own killed.

87
Shares
Google+ Print

The Rise and Fall of Sheriff Clarke’s Trial Balloon

Delusional? Or Defenestrated?

There was nothing normal about controversial Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke’s supposed nomination to a post in President Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security. It was odd from beginning to end. This apparent trial balloon seems to be deflating, and not a moment too soon. The question now becomes: Was any of it ever real?

3
Shares
Google+ Print

Confederate Monuments and Moral Clarity

Selective reverence for history.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has made a point of removing statues honoring Confederate heroes. As NPR notes, “On April 24, a monument to a deadly 1874 white supremacist uprising was the first to come down. A couple of weeks later, a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was taken away. And on Wednesday, a statue of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard was removed.” Finally, last Friday, a giant sculpture of Robert E. Lee came down as well.

7
Shares
Google+ Print

The Left’s Voting Fetish

Voting is not itself an expression of political freedom.

The United States of America does not make a fetish of voting. For the “vote or die” crowd, that’s a cause of great shame.

16
Shares
Google+ Print

The War of Ideas: The Other Anti-Terror Front

How to defeat suicide bombers.

I visited Manchester in 2014, along with my son, to see a Manchester United soccer game at its hallowed stadium, Old Trafford. Not knowing what to expect, I feared the worst—a grimy, decrepit, post-industrial wasteland. What we found was very different: a booming, bustling metropolis. Manchester has preserved its heritage as one of the incubation sites of the Industrial Revolution but has not been trapped in the past. Old factories and warehouses have been repurposed into museums and chic hotels, restaurants, cafes and bars, making Manchester an exceptionally pleasant place to visit—and no doubt to live as well.