Mr. Obama, Your Arrogance is Unappealing

Dear President Obama,

First off, let’s get something out of the way. I don’t talk about you “like a dog.” Maybe like a far-left ideologue. Or an elitist. Or a redistributionist-in-chief. But certainly not a dog.

Speaking of dogs, meet my Emma. Quite the patriot, I know. And that book in the photo with her—Liberty and Tyranny—you might want to give it a quick skim. Just a suggestion.

Anyway, I thought I’d drop you a line because with November rapidly approaching, my guess is that you’re feeling awfully uncomfortable. Idealistic campaign rhetoric aside, you’re a smart man. You know what’s up.

From one Columbia University grad to another, I thought I’d offer you some insight.

I have to first admit that I didn’t vote for you. You seem like a nice enough guy to grab a beer with, but the Jeremiah Wright/Bill Ayers/129 votes as “present” trio gave me some indigestion.

Not to mention that I’m a limited-government, pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-free market constitutionalist. Yep, I’m one of the little people clinging to my guns and religion.

So, I pulled the lever for your opponent. Actually, to be fair, I pulled it for the lady you defined in April as “not much of an expert on nuclear issues.”

Once again, it was nothing personal. I’m just a sucker for executive experience. I like my political leaders gutsy (with our enemies), committed (to our allies), straightforward (with our citizens), and business-minded (with our policy). To each his own.

It occurs to me that you might not understand why someone like me—a Tea Party patriot and independent-minded conservative with allegiance to my principles, not to the Grand Old Party—doesn’t feel inclined to “thank you” as you seemingly think I should.

So, here it goes:

Let’s start with something superficial—your approach.

You’re intelligent, no doubt. But there’s something in your delivery that always makes me feel like I’m back in a Columbia University classroom listening to some smug professor who thinks he or she is God’s gift to mankind.

Think back to your dismissive remark to Sen. John McCain during the February healthcare summit: “Let me just make this point, John, because we’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over.”

He didn’t deserve that. He had a right to question the closed-door process by which your healthcare law was built, as do we all.

I learned one lesson that afternoon—that there’s no room in your world for legitimate critique. 

As a general rule, arrogance isn’t appealing in a leader—not to the millions of Americans who believe that humility is a priceless presidential trait. You could be the smartest guy or gal in the world, but if you talk down to us like you’re way up on that podium and we’re way down in the ditches, your message—be it absurd or brilliant—is lost.

Wondering aloud why anyone isn’t thanking you probably isn’t the best way to go, especially when our country’s unemployment rate is rising—not falling—after your $814 billion stimulus. That’s our hard-earned cash you’re spending.

Bloomberg reported this week that, according to economists, “The jobless rate in the U.S. is likely to approach 10% in coming months as the economy fails to grow enough to employ people rejoining the labor force.”

To be honest, that sounds more I’m sorry-worthy on your part than thank you-worthy on ours.

Should we thank you for mischaracterizing Arizona’s SB 1070? Or for suing a state that’s simply trying to enforce a law that you should be enforcing already? Or for daring Republicans running on a platform of repealing the healthcare law to “go for it”?

According to Rasmussen on September 6, 56% of likely U.S. voters favor repeal of the healthcare law. Are you daring those 56% of Americans to “go for it” as well? Because they may not be campaigning or running for office, but who do you think pulls the levers on Election Day?

We’ve heard you say that you want to “know whose ass to kick,” “that the Cambridge police acted stupidly,” that you “don’t want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking.”

But have we heard you own up to the fact that your stimulus in no way kept unemployment below 8% as promised? Or that you were wrong when you opposed the troop surge in Iraq, which proved to be a success?

Cartoon courtesy of Brett Noel

An aloof delivery, coupled with the persistent promotion of policies that are at odds with the will of the American majority, have turned off so many Americans—including so many of your former “hope” and “change” banner carriers. According to Gallup on August 23, your job approval rating for the week of August 16-22 hit a new low of 43%.

Americans don’t want swagger, egotism, or pretension in a President. They also don’t want any 17-minute, 2,500-word responses to simple questions, but I digress.

They want sincerity, clarity, and political leaders who understand that they work for us—not the other way around.

In the elections of 2010, we the people will make our voices heard.

Isn’t it time to start listening?


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