Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
Real Talk? It’s easy to point and bitch. Disclaimer: Although I’m an active voter, I didn’t vote for Obama. Or, by the way, McCain. Or Romney.
That all said, our current President in this country is Barack Obama, and that won’t change for the next 2.5 years. How many of us, outside of a campaign stop, have really listened to President Obama for more than five minutes? Not a sound bite, not a photo op, not a headline, not a partisan retort, not his press secretary, but President Obama himself, sans teleprompter, just talking about real issues, candidly, off the cuff?
Yea, the interviewer is relatively friendly. Thomas Friedman is here representing the New York Times, but it’s also notable that he’s the Op-Ed columnist, not the managing editor. And yes, Mr. Friedman didn’t ask about Bengazi, or IRS profiling, or immigrant children in makeshift detention centers. But I think this is the first hour in 5 years I’ve ever heard Obama, a now-seasoned President Obama, speak so frankly and at such length his view of our country’s role in world politics.
These are important issues. Who are we, the United States? Who are our friends? Who are our enemies? Why do this, but not that? Obama here articulates well his view from the command chair, and sheds light on who he is and what the reality, the opportunities and constraints, of the United States’ impact on geopolitics are.
Lastly, I have to say I am impressed with Obama’s acknowledgement of our country’s uniquely influential position in the world, the case for maintaining that position, and the increasing security of that position as far our as we can see.
While I still have significant disagreements with Obama on a number of issues — education, healthcare, immigration, most social issues, global warming — and I believe that at the end of the day, Obama serves more globalist interests than interests of the United States, I am nonetheless impressed with his practical maturation as the President. Lacing up the boots has given Obama much more respect for our country and the role of President in representing it.
We consume so much crap on the internet, and we spend so much time doing it. If we care to judge Obama so patently as a fool or a king, shouldn’t we give an ear to our President when he opens up so readily? I think we owe ourselves that opportunity.