Barack Obama gets a lot of style points for his speeches, but not everyone is a fan. While some listeners report feeling chills and thrills while listening to him, writer Peggy Noonan suggests that –
when you get a transcript of the speech and read it — that is, when you remove Mr. Obama from the words and take them on their own — you see the speech was in fact high-class boilerplate. (This was not true of John F. Kennedy’s speeches, for instance, which could be read seriously as part of the literature of modern American politics, or Martin Luther King’s work, which was powerful absent his voice.)
Noonan asks – is Obama’s type of eloquence enough? – and answers:
No. Eloquence is deep thought expressed in clear words. With Mr. Obama the deep thought is missing. Whatis present are sentiments.
America can be greater, it holds unachieved promise, its leaders have not led it well. ‘We struggle with our doubts, our fears, our cynicism.’ Fair enough and true enough, but he doesn’t dig down to explain how to become a greater nation. He doesn’t unpack his thoughts, as they say. He asserts and keeps on walking.
Noonan suggests that a lot of people would like to support Obama because of his speaking style, but what stands in the way is his –
being just another operative, plaything or grievance-monger of left-liberal thinking. By standing, in fact, for real change.
Once people saw him as the front-runner, Noonan says that more people started to ask if he is the beginning of something new or is he just touting the “standard, old time and party line…”
Ben Shapiro writes at Townhall.com that some see Obama as “above the fray, a godlike figure spouting high ideals.”
There is no doubt that Obama has cultivated a messianic image. His base treats him like the Second Coming. Every time he speaks, his supporters faint in the aisles. Then he heals them with bottles of water…
While Obama believes he can win the presidency simply by uttering the word “change” like a magical incantation, his “change” message has a soft underbelly… [Obama’s] constant emphasis on change carries the disturbing undertone that the country is a disaster requiring radical reform. This isn’t a message of optimism — it’s a message of profound pessimism.
Lee Culpepper, also at Townhall, says that “Obama represents the romantics who wish to dream away reality.”
Obama is a gifted speaker. But what will he call upon when his big government theories encounter the real world and begin to crumble? His superb speaking skills dangerously conceal his most sobering weakness – his void of proven substance.
Talent becomes a liability when one depends on it and neglects a solid foundation in the basics. And Obama’s adroit oration will never compensate for his disregarding America’s fundamental principles.
Contrary to Obama’s soothing message, America was not built on the audacity of wishful thinking or pleasant-sounding rhetoric. America was built on valuing the sanctity of human life, individual freedom, limited government, lawful order, and supreme justice.
Instead of basing his policy proposals on American principles of freedom and self-reliance, “Obama believes his government programs” will come to our rescue.
Despite reality, Obama continues peddling government programs while trying to hope away authentic consequences to his brand of ‘wishful thinking.’
“Americans are indeed frustrated,” Culpepper writes,
But frustration often leads to desperation. Desperation can lead to poor judgment, and poor judgment almost always leads to bad results. Accordingly, Barak Hussein Obama is posing a serious threat of becoming the next President of the United States.
Right now, America needs a leader…who understands the edge that made hard-working Americans and this great country successful.”
This article first posted in April.