Americans reject arrogance in our leadership

Jedediah Bila Contributor
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Some women find themselves perpetually drawn to arrogant boyfriends. You know, the ones who remind you regularly how lucky you are to be with them. Some men are mesmerized by the patronizing lady who struts around with her nose in the air and won’t give them the time of day. Some kids can’t help but want to be best friends with the smug student in the back row that drives the teacher crazy with cocky, witty retorts. But the vast majority of Americans don’t want an arrogant President, and to say that our current Commander-in-chief harbors the arrogant chip might be the understatement of the year.

Let’s revisit a few of President Obama’s contemptuous disclosures. What better place to begin than his public rebuking of the Supreme Court in his State of the Union address?: “Last week, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests — including foreign corporations — to spend without limit in our elections.” Incorrect facts aside—it was “not true,” indeed—one has to ponder the kind of audacity it takes to reprimand the highest judicial body in the United States before Congress and millions of viewers like a teacher scolding a group of disobedient children at the playground.

Who could forget our president’s dismissive remark to Senator John McCain during the health care summit that “ . . . we’re not campaigning anymore. The election’s over.” Of course, McCain had dared to do the unthinkable—to challenge the President on his false promises of transparency and the special deals in the health care bill. My gosh, the unmitigated gall.

March of 2010 featured yet another smug revelation by our dogmatic President. He sarcastically declared to an audience of 3,200 at the University of Iowa Field House that Republicans intending to run in 2010 on a platform of repealing the health care law should “go for it.” I can already envision the title of my November 5, 2010 column: Conservatives clean house in 2010: We went for it.

Most recently, at a DNC fundraiser in Miami on Tax Day, President Obama revealed, “So I’ve been a little amused over the last couple of days where people have been having these rallies about taxes. You would think they would be saying thank you.” Rush Limbaugh went in for the kill (Relax, lefties, it’s an idiom) and knocked it out of the park. His “Thank you, Mr. President” monologue included the following home runs:

  • “I want to thank you, Mr. President, for pushing for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to stand trial in New York City and receive full constitutional rights at a cost of $200 million per year.”
  • “I want to thank you, Mr. President, for insulting and endangering Israel.”
  • “I want to thank you for appointing a pervert as our Safe Schools Czar.”
  • “And I’d like to thank you for your never-ending support of the New Black Panthers and for ACORN.”
  • “But most of all, Mr. President, thank you for arousing the sleeping silent majority, because we have been asleep too long.”

Amen to those. In fact, I’d like to add a few:

  • Thank you, Mr. President, for reminding the American people of the importance of substance and truth over fancy campaign slogans like “hope,” “change,” and “yes we can.”
  • And thank you, Mr. President, for inspiring countless Americans across this great country to carry pocket-size copies of the U.S. Constitution so they can help conservative candidates “go for it” in 2010.
  • Most importantly, thank you for reminding us of the beauty of our founding principles by persistently trying to destroy them.

President Obama is no stranger to the word arrogant. In fact, he used that very word to describe our country while in Strasbourg, France in April of 2009: “Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” Dismissive and derisive? What was that about our new health care law again?

The bottom line is that arrogance will never go over big with Americans at large. We want to be spoken to—not at—and want to believe that our President is, in many ways, a reflection of us. Many were touched by the directness and humility of such statements by Ronald Reagan as “There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers” and “In closing, let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your president.” Sarah Palin supporters across the country are drawn to her “just like us” appeal because most Americans want their leaders strong, yet unpretentious.

Mr. President, pomposity may have a first-class seat in academia, but the vast majority of Americans don’t want it in our White House. Thank you for reminding us of that as well.

Jedediah Bila is a conservative columnist and commentator living in New York City.  For more information on Jedediah, please visit http://jedediahbila.com/.