BJ News, China
Is Obama Worse than Bush?
By Zhao Lingmin
The creation of a leader has become a media show. It no longer matters what someone is like as a person; what matters most is the image his campaign team can create for him.
Translated By Yuzhi Yang
29 July 2014
Edited by Eva Langman
China - BJ News - Original Article (Chinese)
The Obama administration has shown two serious problems:
- Many promises were not realized, and [Obama] is seen as incompetent.
- His actions do not match his words, so he is seen as untrustworthy.
On July 24, the U.S. Congress passed a proposal and formally authorized Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner to sue President Obama for the reason that “Obamacare” and other issues had bypassed Congress, and that Obama abused his executive privilege. U.S. partisan politics have reached an unprecedented level since Obama was elected; the two parties have put aside national interests and are waiting for the other party to fail. Most seem to think this lawsuit is just a political maneuver before the midterm elections in mid-November and unlikely to be successful.
Has Obama Lost His Glamor?
In spite of this development, support for Obama has continued to fall; his lack of popularity is a known fact. In early July, a Quinnipiac University poll showed that 54 percent of participants felt Obama was not effective in governing, and 33 percent thought Obama was the worst president since the end of World War II. Only 28 percent and 13 percent of people felt George W. Bush and Nixon were worse, [respectively]. The results mean Obama is actually less popular than George W. Bush, who had started the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
Thinking back to 2008, when Obama broke through the competition amid political heavyweights like Hillary and McCain by using the slogans “Change” and “Yes, We Can” to be elected president, he was carrying the expectations and dreams of so many Americans, as well as people from all over the world, but six years later, Obama seemed to have lost his allure and become unpopular. What happened?
We have to look back to when Obama was first elected. In the past, the creation of national leaders was a very difficult process; the leaders had all been through countless struggles and obstacles, and each step was incredibly difficult. Leaders like Lincoln and Roosevelt had all gone through similar things. In 1960, when TV became a factor in elections, Nixon lost because his image could not compare to Kennedy’s. This meant the election standards for a leader had changed fundamentally. In today’s Internet age, personal image, speaking skills, and other external factors have become unduly magnified, whereas political platform and other concrete factors have become less noticeable — because they are boring. The creation of a leader has become a media show. It no longer matters what someone is like as a person; what matters most is the image his campaign team can create for him.
Obama is a president generated by the Internet and social media. He was accepted into an Ivy League university through affirmative action because he is African-American. He only had three years of experience as a senator before the election, two of which he spent running for the presidency. His only previous administrative experience was as a community organizer in Chicago, a role similar to our country’s neighborhood committee director.
Ever since he started his administration, he was not able to unite the people with Roosevelt's “fireside chats,” nor did he have Reagan’s ability to interact with lower-class citizens. Data has shown that Obama has played 179 rounds of golf since he began his presidency, far more than George W. Bush, who is an avid golf player. Yet, none of the games were played with Republicans. This has caused a lot of separation between Obama and his Republican colleagues, and the confrontations have led to the fiscal cliff, the government shutdown, the health care reform crisis, etc.
Two Major Problems with the Obama Presidency
Obama’s administration has two serious problems:
- Many promises were not realized, so [Obama] is seen as incompetent. Because of his lack of administrative experience, Obama made a lot of promises during the campaign. Many Americans felt that Obama could solve every problem: Students believed he could lower tuition; teachers believed he could raise salaries; the unemployed believed the economy was going to bounce back; anti-war activists believed he could end the Iraq war quickly; the idealists believed politics-as-usual would soon end in D.C. ...
After a few years, people realized — to their disappointment — that Obama did not close Guantanamo Bay, did not lower the unemployment rate, did not reduce the national debt, did not mend the two parties’ political differences, nor did he change the political culture in D.C. The Afghanistan and Iraq wars may have ended reluctantly, but threats from the Taliban and ISIL have arrived one after the other. America has been absent from the drastic changes in the Middle East and the European debt crisis. The efforts for reconciliation in the Islamic world have gone nowhere.
- His actions do not match his words, so he is seen as untrustworthy. Obama promised to limit public campaigning in 2008, as long as his Republican opponent promised the same — and his opponent, McCain, agreed. Yet, when Obama realized his enormous gift in campaigning, he reneged on the promise. During the Syrian chemical weapons crisis, Obama made another promise, but he lost his footing and did not even follow his own boundary. This has deeply troubled his regional allies, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, and has led to bizarre events, such as Saudi Arabia refusing the permanent member seat on the United Nations Security Council. Just like the Financial Times has said, Obama keeps singing a grand tune, yet is drifting further and further away from current important geopolitical challenges. He has become someone who cannot be trusted, and the lack of trust is built on people’s view that he is ineffective.
In the last several hundred years, America’s enduring prosperity has been thanks to its excellent error-correcting ability. At every crisis, a great leader was born to lead the people out of the crisis and bring new energy and vitality to the country’s next phase of development. After eight years with George W. Bush, people had hope for Obama, but the facts have shown that they may have trusted the wrong person.http://watchingamerica.com/News/244000/is-obama-worse-than-bush/