The Obama Trilemma – Ego, Evil, or Idiot
The Obama Trilemma – Ego, Evil, or Idiot
Many are familiar with C.S. Lewis’s famous argument about Jesus. Given Jesus’s claims, Lewis said that that could only make Him one of three things. Either Jesus was an insane, raving lunatic, or he was a pathological liar, or He was what He claimed – the Son of God. This argument (popularly distilled down into “Mad, Bad, or God” or “Liar, Lord, or Lunatic”) is commonly known as “Lewis’s Trilemma.” Many theologians have attempted to expand on the argument (adding more caveats), but the simplicity of Lewis’s logic has stood for decades.
I believe that we have a similar trilemma on our hands, considering the record, history, and actions of President Barack Obama. I’ve distilled it down to three things – Ego, Evil, or Idiot. I’ll describe each possibility. It will be up to the reader to determine which one they believe to be true.
There is no argument that the president sees himself as better than everyone else around him. The most famous quote that confirms that is from Jodi Kantor’s book The Obamas, which was published at the beginning of 2012:
Obama had always had a high estimation of his ability to cast and run his operation. When David Plouffe, his campaign manager, first interviewed for a job with him in 2006, the senator gave him a warning: “I think I could probably do every job on the campaign better than the people I’ll hire to do it,” he said. “It’s hard to give up control when that’s all I’ve known.” Obama said nearly the same thing to Patrick Gaspard, whom he hired to be the campaign’s political director. “I think I’m a better speechwriter than my speechwriters,” Obama told him. “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors. And I’ll tell you right now that I’m gonna think I’m a better political director than my political director.”
Valerie Jarrett, Obama’s right-hand woman, has also been quoted as saying, “He knows exactly how smart he is…. He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”
After all the adulation he received, especially after the 2008 presidential election, Richard Wolffe wrote in his book, Renegade (published in 2010) that Obama said to him, “You know, I actually believe my own bullshit.”
The Ego argument was the one that the media embraced the longest. After all, how can one possibly explain writing your own autobiographical memoir (Dreams From My Father, published in 2004) while still in your early 40’s, before even being elected to national office, unless you believe that you are special? The press really believed that Obama was smarter than everyone else, so he had a right to be a narcissist. How many times did we hear about “No Drama Obama” and how “cool” he was? Now, of course, we learn that the “no drama” line really means “don’t upset the president with facts.” Of course, no one with a giant ego, who wants to be admired and applauded, really wants to get his hands dirty with the day-to-day work of being president. Which is probably why he enjoys flying around and doing the fundraising. No one asks hard questions then. They just want to take a picture with him.
His legacy is probably the one thing that President Obama cares the most about. But it seems that no one told him that he would have to do more than be elected to actually acquire a legacy.
There is no two ways about it. The president’s infamous “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” has turned out to be a lie. And he didn’t just say it once. Or twice. Or three times. Since 2008, he has made that claim 36 times. And now we know that the White House knew that this was a lie.
Now, let us split the proverbial hair. Was it a lie of omission (made out of ignorance) or a lie of commission (made deliberately in order to deceive)? I don’t know if we will be able to definitively prove that it was a deliberate lie. Whether the president knew the truth and lied, or the White House (citing the fear of causing “drama”) kept it from him, or he simply didn’t ask the questions in order to proclaim a plausible deniability later, I don’t know.
What we do know is that President Obama, as Jake Tapper recently reminded people on Twitter, has no problem telling people that they are going to have to change their ways for the greater good, when it came to health care. So much for individual freedoms.
There are also growing concerns that this entire fiasco with the Healthcare.gov site was a calculated scheme to eventually push the United States into a single-payer system. Certainly, the left believes that this is the solution, after the abject failure of the roll-out. The president himself said that he wasn’t “stupid enough” to go out and keep promoting Obamacare if he had known that the website was not functional. Maybe he wasn’t that stupid. Maybe he knew about it and kept pushing it anyway. Maybe he continually lied to the American public in order to pass a law that he wanted, in order to reshape this country into the model of “fairness” that he idealizes in western Europe.
But if the president is a deliberate, repetitive liar, that would also make him evil. Evil has ulterior motives. Evil looks to purposefully destroy. Evil serves to exalt only itself.
I am not in a position to judge the president’s intent, because I can’t read his mind or his motives. All any of us can do is judge him by his actions, and what we believe that he believes. And we have the right to judge him, because he is supposed to be accountable to us, the American public.
This is the new prevailing argument about the president. He’s simply incompetent. He’s surrounded by people who keep the truth from him, lie to him, and he just doesn’t ask the questions to discover the truth. He might have hired these people or chosen them to work in his administration, but they are all conspiring to keep him “in the dark.” And even the president himself has willingly proclaimed his own ignorance on several major scandals.
Benghazi? Wasn’t it about a video?
The IRS was targeting the Tea Party? I found out from the news.
The Justice Department is targeting journalists? I didn’t know about that.
We’re tapping Angela Merkel’s cell phone? I had no idea!
The Obamacare website isn’t ready to go? No one told me!
The left would like this to be the president’s defense – that no one tells him anything, so he can’t be held accountable for these scandals. But by that measure, it also makes the president out to be nothing more than a symbolic figurehead, too stupid to make policy, to childish to deal with bad news, and too disengaged to care about anything else but his golf game.
None of these choices in this trilemma do the American people any good. We either have an extraordinarily vain egotist, or a pathological liar, or an incompetent fool in the Oval Office. All of the president’s decisions when it comes to policy and his actions can be traced back to one of these explanations. I am not a psychologist or a psychiatrist, but I have eyes, the ability to research, and I’ve given this a lot of thought. I could be wrong. Someone might have a better analysis. But given where the country is, no one can make the argument that President Obama is an effective president – and we still have three more years left of him.
The question is – what do YOU think drives the president?