Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Fouad Ajami: Barack Obama the Pessimist - WSJ.com

Fouad Ajami: Barack Obama the Pessimist - WSJ.com:

Read some of the blather on the decline of the American Empire on the UU Peace Making list serv and this pessimism makes sense. That and just knowing the deep cynicism of the Chicago Regular Democratic Party that brought forth Obama. Also, for the Emersonian and Universalist roots of Reagan's optimis try John P. Diggin's biography of him.

From Fouad Ajamai in WJY yesterday,
"Temperament mattered. Ronald Reagan was the quintessential optimist, his faith in America boundless. He had been given his mandate amid economic distress—the great inflation of the 1970s, high unemployment and taxation—and a collapse of American authority abroad. Through two terms and a time of great challenges, he had pulled off one of the great deeds of political-economic restoration. He made tax cuts and economic growth the cornerstone of that recovery. Economic freedom at home had a corollary in foreign affairs—the pursuit of liberty, a course that secured a victorious end to the Cold War. The 'captive nations' were never in doubt, American power was on the side of liberty.

By that Reagan standard, Mr. Obama has been a singular failure. The crippling truth of the Obama presidency is the pessimism of the man, the low expectations he has for this republic. He had not come forth to awaken this country to its stirring first principles, but to manage its decline at home and abroad. So odd an outcome, a man with an inspiring biography who provides no inspiration, a personal story of 'The Audacity of Hope' yielding a leader who deep down believes that America's best days are behind it."

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