Lack of Desire, Knowledge and Confidence
by Scott L. Vanatter
Why was Obama just not that into it (the debate)? Three possible reasons include a lack of desire, a lack of knowledge of basic economic principles, and being intimidated by Romney’s real world expertise.
Obama sounded so disjointed in the first debate that mainstream media supporters such as Chris Matthews and Andrew Sullivan nearly had an emotional breakdown on camera and online. They are only two who wondered aloud why Obama seemed so incoherent. Obama’s bizarre manner that night almost resembled the infamous beauty pageant contestant of a few years ago or the reporter who had a mini-stroke on camera, so rambling were some of his answers. Surely in the next debate, Obama will up his game. At least he will appear to want to debate.
Perhaps some commentators were right. Obama didn’t even want to be there that night. At times he acted like he couldn’t wait for it to be over. Perhaps he thought it was all beneath him. Perhaps he thought it was demeaning to have to defend his record. Perhaps Obama would be better suited to the ivory towers where tenure would protect him from having to answer for his ideas. It seems that the president would be more comfortable in a college classroom speaking to adoring students who wouldn’t challenge or even question him. In the classroom Obama would not even have to hear conflicting ideas like Romney taught him in the debate. Yes, taught him.
Romney knows the subjects at hand — the economy, business, decision making — because he has lived it. Obama has heard about it. He may have read books about it, liberal ones.
Perhaps Obama hides his college transcripts because he is embarrassed he got bad grades in Economics 101, or that he never took Economics 201. Perhaps he left courses such as Macro Economics or Quantitative Analysis to the other kinds of nerds; the kinds that would go on to be captains of industry. Perhaps any economics courses he took were filled with Keynesian or even Marxist doctrine. One wonders whether Obama has read such thinkers as Milton Friedman, Peter Drucker, or Clayton M. Christensen. If he did read them, he certainly does not understand or believe them.
Obama knows so little about the real economy that he doesn’t even realize that he doesn’t know the first thing about running a business or how the economy works. He seems to think that jobs are created by the government. During the debate Obama was exposed as entirely clueless. The contrast with Romney couldn’t have been more stark. Romney has lived and breathed business and economics all his adult life. It is second nature to him. Obama mouths memorized platitudes.
This may be one reason why Obama stumbled. He does not really know his subject.
Another reason is that Obama, for the first time in his life, may have been intimidated. Not that by looking directly at him Romney intimidated a sitting president. Maybe Obama finally realized that he was not the smartest man in the room or even on the stage. Maybe, just maybe, deep down inside he realized that he is a poser with respect to economic theory and real world application of business principles.
Obama does not really know, or believe in, the free enterprise system or free market economics. He is uninformed or unbelieving on even the basics of supply and demand. He doesn’t trust tried and true economic laws. He thinks he can violate them with impunity. Despite the evidence that it isn’t working, Obama wants to continue more of the same for another four years — which would be an unmitigated disaster.
No matter how much he mouths words — jobs, growth, investment, incentives — he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand it. Stringing together words such as middle class or personal responsibility during a campaign are empty indeed when his policies mitigate against both.
Obama has bought into his radical professors’ rage against the free enterprise system which in his heart he just knows is immoral.
Maybe, just maybe Obama finally recognized that there was a topic of which he was not a master. Perhaps he thought that if he got into it any further with Romney he would have been made out the fool even more than was evident.
“It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.”
Obama started bad, and ended worse. After being unwilling and unable to overcome his lack of desire, knowledge and confidence, he simply cut his losses. Bet he Hopes he Changes by the next debate.
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Scott L. Vanatter is the vice president of Frontiers of Freedom.