THE “MALAISE” HAS RETURNED
— WE ARE AT A POINT NOT DISSIMILAR FROM THE DAYS OF JIMMY CARTER AND WITH AN EVEN GREATER SENSE OF DISSATISFACTION AND DISTRUST OF BARACK OBAMA
By Alan Caruba
ALAN CARUBA’S GUEST OP-ED BEGINS IMMEDIATELY BELOW:
The joke is that Jimmy Carter is happy that Barack Obama has replaced him as the worst President of the modern era. It is a supreme irony that Obama’s campaign theme was “Hope and Change”,
Elected by a narrow margin in 1976, Carter managed -- in his one term -- to see his approval ratings fall to twenty-five percent by June 1979. The lesson Americans have to learn over and over again is that liberal policies and programs don’t work:
In just six years, under the stewardship of Barack Obama, the kind of (socialist) dependence on the government which he favors -- to take care of people from cradle to grave -- has left America with 92 million unemployed citizens (or former workers who have stopped looking for a job), entitled 45 million residents to food stamps (often spent on cigarettes &lottery tickets), and liberal Democrats still talk about the need for a “minimum wage” in the interest of “fairness” – which will simply kills jobs especially those that used to be filled by young people just entering the workplace.
But the worst part of Obama’s presidency is the lies that he tells in the belief, apparently, that most Americans are so stupid they won’t see through these deliberate prevarications.
On July 15, 1979, in an effort to encourage a greater sense of confidence, Jimmy Carter delivered a speech that became known as the “malaise” speech, but which did not include that word. What it did, however, is double down on all the bad policies Carter had pursued and blamed Americans for not accepting them. By then the economy was in decline, gasoline prices and interest rates had climbed to record levels, and the voters were understandably pessimistic.
Worse still, the Iranians had taken U.S. diplomats hostage, and these prisoners would not be released until Ronald Reagan took the oath of office.
Carter’s speech began by asking “Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem?” Quite literally there was no need then or now for an energy problem because, as recently noted by the Energy Information Administration, the United States has enough coal to last more than 200 years!
And with the development of hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as “ fracking”), we now have access to more oil than exists in Saudi Arabia.
Obama literally came into office saying he intended to wage a war on coal and he has; using the Environmental Protection Agency to institute regulations that have led to the closing of too many mines to be counted, and the shutdown of coal-fired plants that used to produce 50% of the nation’s electricity -- now down to 40%.
Further, in the sphere of fossil fuels (easy-to-access natural energy sources to propel our cars for example), the president (and his reality-challenged “environmentalist” allies) has resisted allowing the drilling for oil in the huge reserves on our east and west coasts.
And as part of that policy, Barack Obama has refused to permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline -- with this eco-moronic policy resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of potential jobs during his presidency.
In his speech, Carter said, “The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.”
That indeed was the consequences of Mr. Carter’s government-centered solutions to all problems.
Thankfully (for America) Ronald Reagan would be elected to replace Carter in 1980; and America prospered through his two terms, returning to being a major superpower, economically and militarily.
After all, that’s what political conservatism usually produces.
Jimmy Carter, however, blamed Americans for the problems of his times: “Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world”, he opined to the nation.
One of Barack Obama’s earliest acts was to visit foreign nations, and also blame America for many of the world’s problems. Militarily he pulled our troops out of Iraq, and he intends to do the same in Afghanistan.
He has cut the military budget to the bone, and has now defined its mission as one to address “climate change” -- and not the real enemies of our nation.
Obama spent his entire first term blaming George W. Bush for every problem that he (Obama) did nothing to correct. Indeed, Barack Obama has never seen himself as the real problem, finding anyone else (especially Republicans) to blame.
Those Americans watching Jimmy Carter deliver his speech must surely have cringed as he announced that he intended to set import quotas on foreign energy resources. He said he wanted Congress to impose a “windfall profits” tax on the very energy firms that he wanted to get us out of the doldrums and dependency that was causing the problem. He wanted the utility companies to “cut their massive use of oil by fifty percent within a decade.”
He wanted them to switch to coal; and we also now live in an era when America’s current President (Barack Obama) also doesn’t want our utilities to use coal.
Despite massive evidence to the contrary, Barack Obama has advocated the increasing use of “renewable” energy --wind and solar power -- neither of which can ever meet the nation’s needs (case in point, the Solyndra debacle).
“In closing, let me say this: I will do my best, but I will not do it alone. Let your voice be heard,” said Carter.
In the 1980 election the voter’s voice was heard. Carter was gone and Reagan was our President. With him came his infectious patriotism and optimism. And by late 1983, his economic program had ended the recession which he inherited from Carter.
A similar free-markets-oriented policy would have put an end to what is now routinely called “Obama’s Great Recession”.
We are at a point not dissimilar from the days of Jimmy Carter and with an even greater sense of dissatisfaction and distrust of Barack Obama.
Fortunately, we have time to “hope” for a better future; and we have the means to make the “change” to achieve it in the November elections.
MY RESPONSE TO THE PRECEDING GUEST ‘OP-ED’:
Why should we be surprised that when Dr. Charles Krauthammer (still a practicing psychiatrist), first met Barack Obama at the home of George Will (Obama was considering a Senate bid at the time), Krauthammer was astounded by sheer grandiosity of this man (Barack Obama) who had accomplished nothing of political significance at that time in his life – a legend in his mind only.
Krauthammer’s near-instant diagnosis: they were dealing with a sociopathic (conscience-free) narcissist!
Krauthammer really nailed it when he asked, “Does the narcissism of this man know no bounds?”
And it now appears Krauthammer was correct; and that -- for Barack Obama -- being loved, and not being blamed for anything, is more important than anything -- including the honor and credibility of America in the world today.
Obama’s narcissism would appear to be channeled toward protecting his self-manufactured image of who he is -- what German psychoanalyst Alice Miller labelled “the false self”.
According to her theory of “narcissism”, the narcissist himself is the victim of childhood experiences that have made him feel inadequate, causing this person to compensate with an idealized –inflated -- conception of who he is.
And such behavior usually occurs no matter how unrealistic that image of “self” is for that individual.
And as a compensation for those feelings of inadequacy, the narcissist psychologically immerses himself in that idealized and inflated view of himself, chronically viewing himself in that mirror of superiority – the “smartest guy in the room” as Barack Obama is reported to have referred to himself on several occasions.
In the case of America’s current leader, that idealized image also reflects a desired view that he is a compassionate, well-meaning and charming individual.
And when an opponent undermines that image of himself, he will allow and acquiesce to anything in order to stop the criticism – including “revenge”, or simply an attempt to curry favor with the “enemy”.
All of which may explain the underlying motivation behind the president’s “apology tour” of the world, metaphorically begging forgiveness for America’s past imperialist sins.
Or his insistence on attempting to push the “reset” button on relations with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, signaling an acceptance of the Russian dictator’s intention of re-establishing Russia's pre-Reagan borders.
But as sad as it is for an individual to curry favor with a perceived opponent, it is downright dangerous for a nation’s leader to do the same.
If nothing else it sends belligerent thugs, dictators and cut-throats the message that America will do anything to be loved…including acquiesce to their evil.
Finally, let’s get a second medical opinion from "Sam" Vaknin , author and publisher of "Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited (2001)", and the editor-in-chief of the website "Global Politician" which analyzes narcissistic personality disorder in the behavior of international leaders.
The emptiness of President Obama's accomplishments prior to arriving in the White House are also a hallmark of the narcissistic personality, according to Vaknin:
Says Vaknin, "The narcissist's biography sounds unusually rich and complex. His achievements, as related by such an individual, are incommensurate with his age, education, or renown. Yet, his actual condition is evidently and demonstrably incompatible with his claims."
Very often, continues Varknin, the narcissist's lies or his fantasies are easily discernible: The narcissistic leader prefers the sparkle and glamor of well-orchestrated illusions, as opposed to the tedium and effort need for real accomplishments.
In Varknin's words, "His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substance, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions."
THE MEANING OF ALL THIS AMATEUR "PSYCHOANALYZING"?
My conclusion, based on all of the preceding analysis?
The "Age of Obama", as Gwen Ifill has labelled the last eight years, may be a "false-shadow" which leads to illusionary (unrealistic) foreign and economic policy by the Obama administration, and ultimately global catastrophe.
Nuff said, I would think.