A recent piece on this blog dealt with how H. L. Mencken would explain the phenomenon of Barack Obama. As you might guess, the old curmudgeon would likely not be impressed. The fact that Obama could get elected would not surprise him. It would confirm the low esteem in which he held the electorate.
In American Thinker William Gensert speculated on what a second term of President Obama would be like. His conclusions included the following:
To sum up, in Barack II, he will cut out coal and oil, diminish natural gas, and forbid nuclear power. Electric bills will skyrocket, and the nation will face rolling blackouts. Gasoline will become even more unaffordable than it is already.
The double-whammy of high transportation and energy costs will tank the economy, and jobs will become even scarcer than they are already. In short, we will have been fundamentally transformed into a third-world country.
It’s coming, but like everything for Barack, it’s scheduled for…again…after the election. And all this, he will do by himself. Because when you are transformative, you don’t have to abide by the Constitution, separation of powers, checks and balances, and judicial review. Executive fiat will be sufficient.
Mr. Gensert’s expectations are entirely consistent with Obama’s words and actions from his first campaign and first term. After re-election he will have no reason to hold back as he will never run for office again.
Recognizing the reasonableness of these expectations and combining them with a disastrous first term, how does one account for the possibility that Mr. Obama has a reasonable chance to be re-elected? For many, he is considered hands-down the worst performing president in modern times. The fact that this question can be asked is proof-positive of how far this once-great country has deteriorated. Politics has become entertainment. The same intelligence exhibited in top-rated TV shows (American Idol, Jersey Shore, reality TV, etc.) is reflected in election outcomes. In Mr. Mencken’s words:
The threat to this country is not the fraud that inhabits the White House today. He is merely a symptom of a deeper and more serious problem. The problem is the fools who put him in office. They have learned nothing and will undoubtedly repeat their mistake, if not in the immediate election, in one not far away. As Mencken observed:
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
There is a cure for stupid Presidents. Vote them out of office. Unfortunately, stupid Presidents are merely symptoms. Like a fever can be a symptom of a more serious condition, a stupid president is a symptom of a stupid electorate. Treating the fever may provide temporary relief, but it does not cure the patient. Likewise, voting the president out of office does not cure the cancer that afflicts the electorate.
There is no known cure for a stupid electorate save perhaps education. If we had decent schools, that would take at least a generation or two for idiocy to be wiped out. No politician is interested in an educated electorate. Even if they were, it would take several generations to achieve an enlightened electorate. That is not time that we have. There will be a systemic collapse before then.
Obama may or may not win re-election. Even if he is defeated, there is little reason for happiness. The fever will go down, but the fever is merely a symptom. Perhaps this symptom can even be controlled for a term or two. But the underlying disease, the cause of the fever, is below the surface untouched and uncured. The pathology has not been touched and it will eventually manifest in an even worse president.
There is no known cure for this disease, at least within the critical time frame.