Watching President Obama deliver his convention address in Philadelphia last night, I was both captivated and horrified. Obviously, he is a very effective orator even if all you hear are his cadence and modulation, and all you see are the people listening with tears in their eyes.
The problem is, while all the beautiful words about unity and America’s still-evolving potential for greatness were inspiring to hear, it was sad and disconcerting to understand that they were completely at odds with the past almost-eight years of his leadership.
It occurred to me, watching him, that he embodies the typical abusive spouse: He berates and belittles you, slowly crushing you and extinguishing your light. And then, just when he sees that you’ve mustered the courage to say that you no longer believe his lies and you won’t stand for it anymore, he draws you back in with soaring words and a vision of how great things can be if you just give him another chance.
The problem is, of course, that once you detect this pattern, the blinders come off and you realize: it’s not about love – it’s about control. And that realization is key to this election: while both parties fight for control of the branches of government, Democrats specifically want to control people. Their lives, their pocketbooks, their behavior, and their thought.
It’s also critical to understanding the lure of Obama – he seeks to control, but for some megalomaniacal reason he seeks it through this cycle of beautiful, loving words vs. spirit-crushing actions:
He claims we are stronger when we are united, but as President he did not lead with unity – he led with divisiveness.
He claims that nations around the world respect us more than ever, but he did not lead with pride – he led by apology for America’s past sins over and over again, all around the world.
He did not lead to lift America up and inspire other nations to rise to her level, he led to bring America down to the level of nations whose political and economic systems do not work as well as ours, because he perceived them to be more honorable.
He did not lead to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, he led to subvert it.
And, he did not lead to keep America safe. He led to purposefully allow – despite his rhetoric about love and a common creed – the dangerous infiltration into our borders of people who clearly do not love us, indeed whose sole and stated purpose in life is to destroy us, to eliminate us from the face of the earth.
And so his legacy will be – at least in part – as the arrogant, abusive spouse. Because although he preaches well, about love and unity and strength in America, he doesn’t lead by his own preaching. He doesn’t have America in his heart. He doesn’t accept that the core of what makes America great and unique in the world, is not love – but liberty.
And that liberty is perhaps an even greater gift than love.