In 2008, Bill Clinton declared Barack Obama to be ‘a master politician.’ The pain he must have felt in saying that could be compared to Satan’s conceding that someone is a better liar than he. Nevertheless, Obama has earned that title, hands down. How dreadfully far we have fallen in allowing such vermin to represent and lead us! Our nation’s level of compromise has become as breathtaking as its debt. Our founding fathers are spinning in their graves at 50,000 RPM, wondering why we so easily squander the precious gifts they paid so dearly to bring us. It’s simply because a burgeoning number of people have forgotten that sacrifice. Today, many of us seem satisfied with empowering what amount to enabling babysitters rather than electing people who’ll carry our best interests beyond the immediate.
Sound leadership includes heavy responsibilities of sagacity and thoughtful foresight. In training for my ordination, I ‘interned’ under a godly man who seemed to move slow as molasses when it came to challenging his congregation to elevated heights of spiritual attainment. I asked him, “Pastor, why can’t we work more aggressively in promoting the people toward greater works of faith? We are being too easy on them!” His response was pure and simple: “I want to mimic Jesus’ high example in keeping our yoke easy for everyone. I can’t move too fast for fear of injuring the babes in Christ – and, at the same time, the older in the Lord should advance at their own pace while learning patience in ministering to those neophytes.” He was mindful of his multifaceted burden in being a good shepherd. He knew his words, behavior, and decisions had rippling effects. He refused to ignore the far-reaching consequences of his trust. Our president fails to show even a fraction of that sort of care and responsibility. Instead of a public servant with a shepherd’s heart, he is shamelessly pitting us against each other, using us all as merely a huge vehicle for achieving the depressing dreams of his father.
I’ve done enough public speaking in my life to begin to know what to watch for when someone steps in front of an audience. From my seat, I have learned to detect telltale signs of hiding fear and nervousness. The speaker must work quickly to overcome those weaknesses, or the audience simply won’t follow him. Some are better at it than others – but, even some of the most seasoned public figures have remarked that no matter how much experience they have, the ‘butterflies’ always show up. Our current president, just as Bill Clinton observed, is smooth as silk. In this time, he has truly found his niche in swaying masses of lambs with minds pre-softened by a droning TV set. He can work his naïve constituency with mastery because he tells them precisely what they want to hear. He wasn’t always that suave, but he’s picked it up fast – and he just keeps getting stronger and cockier. It’s the same narcissistic license that crooked televangelists lean on as they collect cash and popularity from crowds of unwary sheep waiting in line to be fleeced. In effect, our president uses his uncanny charisma to rip our country to shreds; and I believe that’s always been his goal.
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