The “Faith-Based Presidency” — A Tragedy Unfolding

Peter Wehner coins the phrase at Commentary Contentions.  “He appears to have boundless faith in himself and his worldview; he is convinced he will succeed, come what may.”  This is not only delusional, but very dangerous. 

President Obama has never really accomplished anything other than self-promotion.  He has never had a regular job — he was never in private law practice; has never run a business or even the smallest part of one; and he has never run a city or a state, or even a department of one.  He was a law lecturer, but has no record of scholarship. 

President Obama’s greatest accomplishments, outside of getting himself elected to office, are writing two books.  Both are about himself.

He therefore has never established a proven record of success.  Yet Obama seems convinced that he is destined to greatness. 

Even small decisions by a President can have huge consequences.  The Presidency is therefore a position that demands an ego secure enough in itself that it can abide a healthy amount of uncertainty and humility.  Obama lacks these traits. 

Instead, he is perpetually certain that his position, on any issue, is the only reasonable one.  He is brittle and prickly.  He is quick to accuse and assign blame to others.  And he is incapable of self-reflection, engaging his critics in honest debate, or presuming good faith in those who disagree with him.

President Obama reminds me of a protagonist in a Shakespearean tragedy.  Shakespeare’s great tragedies typically involved a person of power and stature whose story ends disastrously. 

Andrew Cecil Bradley wrote in Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth (1904), that “What we do feel strongly, as a tragedy advances to its close, is that the calamities and catastrophe follow inevitably from the deeds of men, and that the main source of these deeds is character.”  A flaw in the character of the protagonist, a person who is otherwise blessed with exceptional talents and status, causes his downfall. 

The “fatal flaw” in Obama’s character is his supreme self-assurance, his blind self-assurance, his “boundless faith in himself,” which is not tethered to any demonstrable accomplishments.

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Published in: on August 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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