Monday, June 15, 2009

Obama, Ahmadinejad, and Confucius

Confucius is said to have taught that a secure government relies on three resources: plenty of food, lots of armies, and the confidence of the people. In the ideal world imagined by Confucius, the sage/ruler, when confronted with some kind of crisis, would reduce troop strength and restrict food supplies before taking the risk of contaminating the populace with doubt.

Funny how an observation can be more than two millennia old and still make sense.

Take Iran for example. Troops aplenty and food enough, but popular confidence in the government? That's not what street demonstrations are telling the world. (Hat tip: Legal Insurrection, for thoughtful posts on the Iran situation.)

No matter who says what, the power of Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khameini and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will never be quite the same.

Iranians, like the parents of young imprisoned insurgents, are pleading for help, thus: “Obama, please help us, they are killing our young children.”

Good luck with that.

Obama, who apparently views himself as Supreme Leader of one of the world's largest Muslim countries, is losing the confidence even of Americans who were over the moon about him just a few weeks ago.

Unemployment (hunger, depression, fear) is way up, deficits (present and future taxes) are way way up, and debt (inflation, lost savings, insecurity) is way way way up. Just about everything else, including national defense, homeland security, and national pride, is down. It doesn't take a Confucianist to know that these factors are weakening the country and lowering Americans' morale.

Worst of all, as Confucius would view it, more people than ever are getting the message that Obama doesn't care about them. Certain people, certain groups, yes: "We buy votes." Other people, other groups, no: "Don't call us, we'll call you (never)."

Not too good for the confidence of the "other" groups, and there are a lot of those, including taxpayers, private investors, people with non-auto worker pensions, small business owners and the self-employed, non-"green" energy workers, diligent government accountants, Israeli sympathizers, polling inspectors, disabled veterans, GM and Crysler dealership owners who made the "wrong" political donations and their employees, strict constructionists, Tea Partiers, and, of course, conservatives of every possible stripe.

National defense is down, hunger is up, and, at breakneck speed, Obama is destroying the last of Confucius's three pillars of successful governance: the confidence of the American people in his ability to govern.

That places the responsibility for Americans right back where it belongs and always has belonged: It is up to each of us to maintain confidence in ourselves and our ability to preserve our way of life.

And Iranians will have to do the same.
Related Posts:

Unemployment Figures: Up Up and Away

Assault on GM Gets Personal at Fox News
Cap and Trade Politico Hauls Green to the Bank
Just Another Square in a Rhino Skin Parka
Americans Spend More on Taxes Than on Food, Clothing, and Housing

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