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August 25, 2008

Barack Obama Is Not in the League of Presidents


I rarely have much praise for what airs on television these days. But John Adams, the recent HBO mini-series that I am thoroughly enjoying on DVD, deserves any praise it gets for being a wonderful illustration of America’s birth and infancy. But I have also found it just as important for reminding me of the great character and qualification of our nation’s first presidents.


Prior to becoming president, George Washington served for many years in several military ranks over a span of 30 years. A delegate to the Continental Congress, he fought back against British oppression and soon became general of the Continental Army. Within six years and four months, he had defeated the world’s dominant imperial power and allowed America to experience its true independence.


Our second president, John Adams, was also a delegate to the Continental Congress and was another advocate for freedom. He left his family several times to serve his country, whether in Philadelphia, where he was on the drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence, or in Europe, where he lobbied the old world for help against Britain. He was also the United States’ first ambassador to the Netherlands, then Britain, before serving as vice president for eight years under George Washington.


Thomas Jefferson was yet another delegate to the Continental Congress and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, one of the finest documents ever written in the history of mankind. Prior to becoming our third president, Jefferson was minister to France, served as governor of Virginia while still at war with the British Crown, went on to become America’s first Secretary of State and then her second vice president.


Barack Obama has been a senator for three and a half years, campaigned for half that time, and made a speech in Berlin.


And for that he believes he deserves the same office that George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson struggled so hard to earn.


Have we truly come to the point where we think so little of the office of the president of the United States, the most powerful office in the world, that we are seriously considering filling it with someone who is asking to be elected solely for his promises?


What has Obama done, other than smile and regurgitate some punch lines, that makes you think he is capable of leading the world? Is it the time he spent as state legislator representing a few blocks in Chicago? Or is it the two years he spent on Capitol Hill prior to launching his campaign? Or is it the campaign itself, on which he has spent nearly half of his federal career?


What is going on, America?


You might retort that Obama can’t be expected to have attended the Continental Congress or fought the British monarchy, because he wasn’t there. Of course, but that does not exempt him from demonstrating modern-day accomplishments that prove him worthy of leading the country.


Indeed, you can be a modern-day American and impress fellow citizens with your achievements. For instance, you can risk your life fighting for your friends, your neighbors and complete strangers in a dangerous war. You can demonstrate your honor by refusing your release from the enemy’s prisons for the sole reason that other prisoners are not also being released, and endure five additional years of pain and torture as a result of this decision.


You can give a military performance that earns you 17 awards and decorations, and rise to the rank of Captain. You can then proceed to serve as a member of the House of Representatives, and then as a U.S. senator, and develop 25 years of experience during which you build a reputation of individualism in Washington and during which you refuse to substitute polls for judgment on matters of importance.


You can do what John McCain did.


But Barack Obama is simply not in that league. He is not qualified for the presidency. He is not qualified for the vice presidency. In fact, had Obama not run for president, and had he been picked as running mate by presidential nominee Joe Biden, the country would have erupted in shock at Obama’s inexperience and inability to handle that office (although it would have been unlikely for Biden to pick Obama, whom he has repeatedly labeled as unready for such high office).


How Obama, then, managed to blind Democratic voters into making him their leader (just barely, granted), is a puzzling question. But regardless, that mistake cannot warrant a far bigger one in November.

© 2008 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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