Apples and Their Tendency to Rot; The Power of the Presidency

From the beginning America has worked to avoid the tyranny of the monarchy; our forefathers saw up close and personal the disastrous effects of a king gone bad. George III (1738 to 1820) reigned for almost 60 years – which would have been bad enough without the fact that for the last 10 or those years George was stark raving mad. We’re only 6 years into a presidency gone bad and I, for one, am profoundly thankful that there won’t be another 50+ years of this terrifying laughingstock of a regime.

Barrack Obama has created so much havoc with his ideology and policies that it will take us years to recover. His high-handed, pen-and-phone end runs around the Constitution ought to land him in prison, but he is creating the biggest mess by just being who he is.

A president is powerful not just because he can sign laws into being, declare war, sign executive orders, negotiate treaties, and select Supreme Court justices. He has much more influence than that which is delegated to him through our constitution.

Any person in power, whether he is a parent in the family, a teacher in the classroom, a county commissioner, a newscaster or a writer, has the power of his personality. The president, because of the press and the efficiency of modern technology, has the power to change the way people think just through his personality.

I saw that happen during the Clinton years – I can’t tell you how often I overheard high school students using Slick Willy as an example when they were discussing sexual exploits. “Well, if it’s OK for Clinton…”

The truth of the matter is that when a human being is in a prominent position we can all feel it. Trickling down from the White House is Obama’s carelessness, his narcissistic self-indulgence, his sneaky, dishonest, divisive demeanor. These attributes poison all that happens in Washington and much that happens elsewhere.

The press daily treats us to photo ops of the president grinning, laughing, leaning back in his Oval Office chair with his feet on the historic presidential desk. We see him hopping around in glee on golf courses, yucking it up at cocktail parties stocked with the latest Hollywood celebs. We watch him casually “saluting” with coffee-filled Styrofoam. This is the Obama that pops up in my mind and this is his conduct while horrors abound – horrors he could have prevented and may have set in motion. What message does this send? Coolness? I-don’t-careness? It tells the American people that it’s OK to live it up at someone else’s expense as long as you occasionally act angry and say a few stern words. It says that reality is unimportant and the less pleasant the reality the less it matters.

So? Note the behavior of his immediate underlings. Look back at the GSA’s scandalous conferences. The Secret Service has certainly learned how to party in spite of the seriousness of their jobs. Joe Biden stumbles around the country tripping over his own intoxicated tongue and embarrassing all of us. I have no idea what Tom Freidan has been doing at the CDC, but preparing the nation for an Ebola epidemic hasn’t been on the list. And while we’re at it, let’s look at the nonchalant way the hospital in Dallas handled Thomas Duncan the first time he came in. Take two aspirin and call us in the morning. Gees. But if the most powerful man in the history of the world can just go golfing when the going gets rough, why can’t we? Why should anyone take anything seriously?

And who knew that Americans could be so self-indulgent? So self-involved? Yet, it seems to be a very stylish attitude these days. Any speech our Orator-in-Chief gives is heavily peppered with 1st person pronouns. Me. Me. I. His policy decisions all seem to concern his fantasies, his success, his legacy – not the country’s well being.

It is no wonder that it has been during his presidency that selfish bullies are now front and center in social policy-making. Look at what’s happening in Houston with its gay mayor’s efforts to silence evangelical pastors’ ability to teach the biblical stance on homosexuality. I’m sure she feels very comfortable abusing her position to force others to support her lifestyle; evidently it’s all about her. Lois Lerner has absorbed the lesson – damn the Constitution and those pesky conservatives; full speed ahead. She doesn’t like us and that’s all that matters. Nancy Snyderman, chief medical editor at NBC, saw no problem with breaking her Ebola quarantine because she wanted soup. Look at the rioting that has rocked Ferguson, Missouri. The rioters don’t seem at all interested in what is right and true, but in whatever will push their poor-me agenda.

A stolid belligerence backs this burgeoning egocentricity. Amnesty. Gay marriage. Obamacare. Gun control. I want what I want. No society can survive if this becomes the modus operandi for too many people. How many is too many? That’s the tricky part. See Abraham’s discussion with God about the fate of Sodom (Genesis 18:16-33).

Worst of all, however, is Obama’s comfort with the lie, his willingness to dissemble and to do it right in our faces. Truth? What’s that?. He doesn’t hesitate to hide things for electoral convenience (the Bergdahl investigation, for instance) – and he does it even when he knows we know why he’s doing it. He is unflinching in the face of video after video showing him lying.

And look at the rest of his administration: a DOJ who obstructs justice over and over and over. An IRS that can conveniently “lose” important records. A Secretary of State who has covered up her involvement in one of the biggest tragedies to ever befall an American embassy. I could go on and on. Lying has become the way you play the game in Washington.

Has this falsehood-loving corruption flowed any further into American life? Take a close look at Planned Parenthood and their willingness to hide what they’re really up to. Look at the quiet perfidy in the implementation of Common Core. And look, please look, at the number of Americans willing to subvert the voting process. This attitude has saturated all of our institutions.

The lying and the divisiveness are worse than anything I’ve ever seen in government, in American government, and I’m old enough to actually remember Eisenhower. I have never before been attacked and demonized by a president. Even as much as Bill Clinton embarrassed and disgusted me, he never made me feel like persona non grata in my own country.

This us-against-them mentality produced the IRS scandal, the Fast and Furious mess, the voter ID controversy, and has polarized all of us. I used to see Democrats as just Americans with slightly different ways of doing things. That’s gone. Now they are people who call me a racist, homophobic, Islamophobic bigot. How did that happen? Hmm.

A president has power he doesn’t even know about. He is, without most of us even noticing, the current pattern for Americans. His personal values and attitudes seep down into our daily lives. Barack Hussein Obama is ashamed of and angry with America, and now we are, too. It only takes one rotten apple.

Or is this, after all, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people? Was the barrel going bad before Obama even came on the scene? Did this man get elected by an electorate who saw itself in him?

Quite possibly so. It is my prayer that our compatriots, those who are going soft and attracting fruit flies, will look in the mirror and be horrified at the Obama-esque face that looks back at them. Perhaps the bushel has not all foul and we know that God is patient, loving, and merciful.