The administration of President Barack Obama is an utterly failed one in every way that counts towards American interests - economically, militarily, financially, even socially. So why do more than 40% of Americans still support him?
He didn't cause our economic and military woes. More than two years into his administration, however, even Democrats admit that Mr. Obama owns the economy and our military strategies overseas. In every measurable way, his policies have at best improved nothing, and often made things worse.
Every American knows that our economy is barely breathing, much less returning to health. Mr. Obama's stimulus plan, according to his own economists, would prevent unemployment from breaking 9%; instead, with the stimulus, it's exceeded 10% at times with no sign of a serious drop. What do his own economists now say?
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says many Americans will face hard times for a long time to come.
That is no kind of success, though party hacks try to define it thus by saying "things could have been worse." Things could always be worse, but we don't re-elect a President because the end of the world failed to happen on his watch.
We re-elect a President because things got better on his watch which they manifestly have not done - and yet nearly half of Americans are still willing to vote for this miserable failure.
Is it possible that they're totally blind and ignorant? Nope: only 16% of Americans think the country is on the right track, a shockingly high number in and of itself though near the minimum you ever see in a poll. Yet nearly 40% of Americans are still willing to vote for the guy who's driving the train on the wrong track. How can this be?
The answer is found in the details of exactly who is supporting this failed President. Obviously Democrats support him more than Republicans; no surprise there. Even they aren't too happy though, being about evenly split.
Why does this matter? Because of all Americans, blacks have suffered worst from the Great Recession.
In 2004, the median net worth of white households was $134,280, compared with $13,450 for black households, according to an analysis of Federal Reserve data by the Economic Policy Institute. By 2009, the median net worth for white households had fallen 24 percent to $97,860; the median black net worth had fallen 83 percent to $2,170, according to the EPI.
"The recession wasn't Mr. Obama's fault!" you say. No it wasn't. The failed recovery, however, is:
Since the end of the recession, the overall unemployment rate has fallen from 9.4 to 9.1 percent, while the black unemployment rate has risen from 14.7 to 16.2 percent, according to the Department of Labor. [emphasis added]
If a white Republican were in charge, the Racist Reverends and the mainstream media would be screaming bloody murder. Instead, they're singing in the choir, supporting Mr. Obama's every move no matter how devastating to the economy:
"You can't vote against health care and call yourself a black man," Jackson said...
What on earth does being black have to do with government-controlled health care? Everybody gets sick no matter their race; doctors bills are enormous whether you're black, white, or in between. It doesn't make any difference what color your doctor is so long as he knows what he's doing.
What's going on is, alas, something that we've seen all over Africa since postcolonial independence: tribal peoples don't vote for a leader because of his competence, policies, experience, or even promises, but simply based on whether he is a member of their tribe.
Perhaps the most horrifying example comes from Liberia, a notoriously horrific hellhole on a continent filled with them, led for many years by a monster infamous for his barbarity on a continent where barbarism is a way of life. Now-ex-President Charles Taylor's electoral successes make your hair stand on end:
Taylor was elected president in 1997 after leading a prolonged civil war characterized by the systematic use of rape, the recruitment of children to fight in his infamous "Small Boy Units" and the mutilation of the civilian population. His support then was based on fear that he would wreak even greater havoc on Liberia again if he lost. People chanted in the street, "He killed my ma, he killed my pa, I'm going to vote for him." [emphasis added]
Why? Because he may be an SOB, but he was their SOB. As long as a majority or large minority of voters think this way, leaders will all be SOBs and governance will be, well, what you find in Africa.
We have seen the same effect in the United States with such legendary felons as DC Mayor Marion Barry, Adam Clayton Powell, and Rep. Charlie Rangel continually returned to office despite committing every crime short of murder. More recently, the voters of DC rejected successful reformist mayor Adrian Fenty in favor of corrupt Vincent Gray - both equally black - precisely because of Fenty's successes in improving DC's famously awful schools: his appointee Michelle Rhee sacked hundreds of incompetent teachers, most of whom were black.
Gray, and DC's voters, would rather have incompetent black teachers stay in their jobs sucking tax dollars from their public teat and destroying all hope of a decent education for their own black children, than to have new, competent teachers of any other color. Why? The black teachers are part of their tribe and can do no wrong.
You can't run a democracy that way. You can't even run a successful dictatorship that way, as once-wealthy Zimbabwe discovered. Robert Mugabe has utterly destroyed his country's economy, but still maintains enough popular support to be able to cheat his way back into office. You don't find this in Eastern Europe, in Asia, or even in South America for more than a few years at a time.
If citizens don't demand even the most minimum levels of competence, they will be ruled by the most corrupt or, where necessary, violent thug. That is precisely what we see in Africa, in Haiti, in Jamaica, in Detroit, in the city of DC. The only reason Detroit and the city of DC continue to function at all is because of outside Federal law enforcement agencies and outside tax dollars; if they were their own sovereign countries, they'd be worse than Zimbabwe because of the cold.
We're not saying this has anything to do with race as a genetic construct, but it has everything to do with culture. Arabs are an entirely different race from African, if you consider race to have any meaning at all, but history shows very similar aspects to their culture.
Egypt's Mubarak and Tunisia's Ben Ali were autocrats but had fair success in improving their nation's infrastructure and economies. Nevertheless, they were thrown out, and both nations are turning to Islamist thugs who will destroy what liberties and wealth there was. Not an improvement, but very much the Will of the People, just as corruptocrat Gray was fairly elected DC mayor over successful reformist Fenty.
We often attack the arrogance of our elites who think they know better than us ordinary folks down here on the ground, but they do have the germ of a point: there are situations where the people are so grossly ignorant, or so severely deluded, that their choices will inevitably be destructive. Overwhelming majorities of Egyptians want immediate war with Israel; should the Egyptian government give them their wish on the basis of democratic accountability? A great many Germans bought into Hitler's hatred of the Jews, but popular support hardly made the Holocaust right.
The only solution is to prevent that kind of situation from existing in the first place by not importing the grossly ignorant and by thoroughly educating those already here. Our Founders believed deeply in the importance of education for all, and knew full well that our Constitution wouldn't work with an ignorant populace.
If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. The functionaries of every government have propensities to command at will the liberty and property of their constituents. There is no safe deposit for these but with the people themselves; nor can they be safe with them without information. Where the press is free, and every man able to read, all is safe. - Thomas Jefferson
Our union-infested public schools and their race-baiting political masters have ensured that there is a large core of people who cannot and do not read, have no useful education, and thus vote tribally. They do not form a majority - not yet - but Obama's support levels declare the measure of the problem.
If 40% of Americans can still support a man who has so manifestly ruined the economy even on his own measures, and 93% of blacks support someone who has made them even worse off than they were before above all other races, we are running out of margin for electing a competent government.
Perhaps that's why we have so many incompetent leaders, no solid hope for improvement, and why 39% of Americans believe our country is in permanent decline.