Two strong suits in my background are in the fields of psychology and literature. My undergraduate degree is in psychology, and I taught literature for over three decades in classrooms ranging from middle school to graduate school. In both arenas, there is never-ending attention paid to the concepts of fantasy versus reality. It struck me like a lightning bolt the other day how these two disciplines intersect when applied to Barack Obama. This clarity came from one line in an article by conservative African-American economist Thomas Sowell. Sowell wrote simply, “Reality is not optional.”
The line itself is simple enough, but it opens up a Pandora’s box when applied to our president. Apply it first to his personality. Adjectives used to describe him would include these words: elitist, educated, secretive, cool, oratorical, narcissistic, detached, socialistic, brilliant, controlling, and out-of-touch. That’s quite a conflicting list for any psychologist or psychiatrist to analyze. Not being either, I won’t, except to say that the list is, at the very least, complex. As is the man, as we’re finding out. Such a man works well in fantasy. A Pixar movie or a comic book hero would be perfect for this list of personality traits. But they are extremely problematic in the real world.
If you apply Sowell’s quote to Obama, the leader and commander-in-chief, the mist starts coming off the water for me. For it seems that in many of the things Obama has done, a vast discrepancy exists between fantasy and reality. It’s like he’s governing a fantasy world. It’s like he’s the Wizard of Oz, behind a curtain, manipulating things as he wishes them to be in his fantasy world. We observe this and say, “The man has a tin ear.” We say, “The man is grossly out of touch.” We say, “The man does not listen.” In truth, the man is doing exactly what might be prescribed if this were a fantasy world.
But it isn’t. I do not think that Obama has any real clue as to how out-of-step he is with the rest of the world. All of his apologies, and blaming our country, and bowing, and groveling abroad have yielded us nothing. In truth, they have probably hurt us. In some countries he is now a laughing stock. At the G-8 and G-20 summits he was the Lone Ranger – completely out-of-step and out-of-line with the other world leaders. He made a fool of himself, he was embarrassing, but in his fantasy world, that’s what must be done, if it has to be done. For, you see, in Obama’s world, reality IS optional.
Now I have some idea why this man is driving average Americans, like me, nuts. Putting aside his ideologies and his idiocyncracies and his inconsistencies and his far-left political leanings, the man doesn’t connect with us because we’re trying to keep everything in balance in the real world, while he is running around making chaos out of everything in some world of fantasy that he has created, gotten others to buy into, and somehow persuaded the press and mass media to shield and defend to the death. We think all this is crazy BECAUSE IT IS! Reality is not optional! And we know it!