Skip to comments.Obama, Solipsist - Obama mistakenly, and dangerously, believes that others see the world as he...
Posted on 03/08/2014 10:50:39 AM PST by neverdem
Obama mistakenly, and dangerously, believes that others see the world as he sees it.
Solipsism. Its a fancy word that means that the self is the only existing reality and that other entities, including other people, are representations of ones own self and can have no independent existence. A person who follows this philosophy may believe that others see the world as he does and will behave as he would.
Its a quality often found in narcissists, people who greatly admire themselves such as a presidential candidate confident that he is a better speechwriter than his speechwriters, knows more about policy than his policy directors, and is a better political director than his political director.
If that sounds familiar, its a paraphrase of what President Obama told top political aide Patrick Gaspard in 2008, according to The New Yorkers Ryan Lizza.
More recently, Obamas narcissism has been painfully apparent as the United States suffers one reversal after another in world affairs. But it has been apparent ever since he started running for president in 2007.
Candidate Obama did not just campaign as a critic of the policies of the opposing partys president, as many candidates do, but he portrayed himself repeatedly as someone who, because he looks different from any past American president, would make America beloved and cherished in the world.
Plenty of solipsism here. Obamas status as the possible and then actual first black president was surely an electoral asset. Most Americans believed and believe that, given the nations history, the election of a black president would be a good thing, at least in the abstract.
But that history has less resonance beyond Americas borders. Obama must have been surprised to find, on his trip to his fathers native Africa, that he was less popular there than George W. Bush, thanks to Bushs program to combat AIDS.
Obama was also mistaken in thinking that his election and the departure of the cowboy/bully Bush would make the United States popular again among the worlds leaders and peoples though it had that effect in the faculty lounges and university neighborhoods Obama had chosen to inhabit.
In the wider world, the United States, as the largest and mightiest power, is bound to be resented and blamed for every unwelcome development. American presidents for more than a century have been characterized as crude and bumptious by foreign elites.
Moreover, as Robert Gates argued persuasively in his 1996 and 2014 memoirs, there is more continuity in American foreign policy than domestic campaign rhetoric suggests. From Guantanamo to Afghanistan, Obama found himself obliged more to carry on with than to repudiate Bushs policies.
Where he has clearly changed course, he has done so solipsistically. A reset with Russia was possible, he reasoned, because Vladimir Putin, insulted by Bushs mulishness, was ready to cooperate with the new president in mutually advantageous win-win agreements.
So, in the past week, Obama has insisted that Putins invasion of Ukraines Crimea was not in his own interest. No doubt most in the faculty lounge would see it that way. But Putin clearly doesnt. As the military say, the enemy has a vote.
And in his astonishing interview last week with Bloombergs Jeffrey Goldberg, Obama declared that the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas was ready to accept peace with Israel. Again, thats what Obama and the faculty lounge would do. But Abbas has turned down one generous peace deal and has never said he would recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Obamas assumption that other leaders share his views has its limits. It does not always apply to those who have been allies and friends of the United States.
In the Goldberg interview, he lashed Israel, and by implication Benjamin Netanyahu, for aggressive settlement construction in the West Bank. The implication is that only Israel is blocking a peace agreement. But it is Abbas who has rejected John Kerrys framework.
Obamas solipsistic narcissism extends even to the mullahs of Iran. This goes back again to the 2008 campaign: The problem was Bushs refusal to negotiate. Speak emolliently, send greetings on Muslim holidays, and ignore the Green Movement protesters, and Iranian leaders would see that it is in their interest to halt their nuclear-weapons program.
Most Americans, conservative as well as liberal, would be delighted if Putin, the Palestinians, and Ayatollah Khamenei believed and behaved as we would. They would be pleased to see an enlightened American leader bridge rhetorical differences and reach accommodations that left all sides content and at peace.
That, unhappily, is not the world we live in. Being on the lookout for common ground is sensible. Assuming common ground when none exists is foolish. And often has bad consequences.
― Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor, and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. © 2014 The Washington Examiner. Distributed by Creators.com
History is clear. There is nothing more dangerous than a narcissist who achieves great power.
The world may have forgiven us for electing him once, but not twice after it became obvious who he was.
Solipsism is a trait found in liberals I have known - the rabid, angry and raving type (I soon reject their acquaintance).
They think that everyone wants what they want - capitalism dumped in favor of socialism, no private ownership of guns, celebration of all things gay, no limits on sex, contraception and abortion and a seat in the church of climate change. All of us here in America and all of those other countries who reject their views are seen as unenlightened, and really want those things but don’t know it yet. Once we have them imposed upon us - by force - we’ll see the light.
And one of them gets elected to the highest office in the land. Twice. Not good.
“I don’t believe that’s a philosophy but rather a serious mental condition.”
I agree, and that mental condition when confronted by reality will cause him to be even more unstable. Since we don’t know how he will act or react toward international contingencies (because he doesn’t really know) the result is individual and national anxiety.
We're electing the wrong kind of people...
And yet a huge portion of the electorate has no idea what solipsism is or why it’s a bad thing. Can Michael Barone educate those that need it most? Unfortunately, no. So the status quo will continue and future leaders will be as bad as this one.
Become independent, remain self-reliant, prepare for things to devolve because the number of moochers is growing and the number of producers will shrink as people decide to Go Galt and starve the beast.
Its a quality also seen in sociopaths.
Those liberals you’re talking about believe anyone who doesn’t agree with them are stupid. Kinda’ hard to have dialog with someone you know thinks you’re stupid.
well put. WIth obama at the helm...all bets are off.