Mr. Obama: He is Still the Dismissive Professor!
Twelve (12) years ago or so, a much younger Obama shared his vision of America at the DNC while giving the speech of his life. Undoubtedly, his vision was a rather idealistic, and noble one in which there was ONE AMERICA. It is the sort of speech that any American should be proud to give, and it would not only end up putting him in the national spotlight, but also four years later, he was able to secure the Democratic Party nomination by defeating none other but Hillary R. Clinton. And it was during that time that he showed his ways of dismissing others’ fears and uncertainties and attributed Americans who were fearful and angry of their future as individuals who were so scared that they were clinging to religions or their guns and thus went on to have rather painted a portrait of America and Americans that was so idealistic that it wouldn’t be wrong to assert that he was “out of touch” with the real America. However, should he not had realized it then, his two-term presidency must have induced him to realize that while it is easy to hypothesize about such ideals in a law school class as a law professor, putting them into practice can be rather daunting at best.
Thus, to my surprise, 12 years later, in his attempt to respond to Mr. Trump’s “doom and gloom” GOP convention (i.e., RNC) message, again he proceeded to DISMISS the anger and fear of average Americans, but this time as a figment of Trump’s imagination. He is incorrect and wrong to have done so. The latter was a rather dangerous approach and many experts found it to be the wrong response. In short, unlike Joe Biden and Tim Kaine, who seemed to have appealed to the need of every-day American, Mr. Obama seemed to have been rather condescending to them. Indeed, in his overzealous effort to dismiss Mr. Trump’s “doom and gloom” message, he neglected to address the merit behind the fear and anger that many Americans feel about the current U.S. economy and the state of race relations. It is wishful thinking to stay that “we just have work to do” without stating what the work is, and why he failed to have done such work himself, and what can be done to finish any unfinished business. The latter will induce many Americans to feel that Pres. Obama is living in a land of make believe; and that while it’s nice for Mr. Obama to feel that America is great now, if it is, it is certainly not as great for them as it is for him.
Mr. Obama needed to ignore Trump’s message as much as possible to zone in on his own. He should have addressed his own triumphs and shortcomings and how he believed that Mrs. Clinton is better positioned to complete any tasks that he either failed to complete, or simply did not have the time to complete or even was too inexperienced to complete. The right response should never be a dismissal of the anger and fear of average Americans as the figment of Trump's imagination. Thus, while his optimism-filled speeches may have sounded noble enough to have gotten lots of applause like a Pastor’s Sunday morning sermon or even some law school class presentations or valedictorian speeches, a great percentage of Americans (and particularly middle class White Americans) will not be able to fully relate to his 2016 DNC speech.
Although his attacks on Trump had to have had some effect, the related dismissive approach to the voice that Trump represents was rather reckless at best, as it failed to take both Trump and those to whom Trump has given a voice seriously enough. Moreover, his speech failed to address the fear and anger felt by not only the undecided, but also those who are skeptical of Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Obama reminded me of many students and professors who always wanted to be right for the sake of being right during my higher education journey. Undoubtedly, many of them were academically gifted or disciplined enough to get high scores often, and even passed many exams with flying colors, yet far too many were still out-of-touch with the realities of those who will have been affected by their chosen professions/practice. His speech should have been more like that of his lovely wife Michelle's, who never once mentioned Mr. Trump's name, yet was more potent in her rebuke of Mr. Trump's approach. I found her speech to be rather clever and impressive.
In the end, we are who we are. Mr. Obama seems to have remained the same old dismissive, out-of-touch professor that he was 8 years ago. And that might have just propelled “The Donald” into the White House!