Yearnings for a wiser ruler
October 06, 2015

I Want a President Who's "Unteachable." But Not Like Obama

by Christopher Chantrill Follow chrischantrill on Twitter

Back in the glorious days of the Reagan administration Democratic wise man Clark Clifford opined that Reagan was an “amiable dunce.” That is Eighties-speak for today’s complaint that President Obama is “unteachable.”

What people are complaining about right now that President Obama keeps on keeping on his agenda despite the evidence obvious to us, from Obamacare to Syria, that the president’s world view is completely out of joint and radically out of alignment with reality.

Which explains why his presidency has been such a disaster.

That is exactly the complaint that the Clark Cliffords were making 30-odd years ago. They knew in 1981 and 1982 that Reagan was an ideological fool and that he would bring the country to its knees with his ridiculous foreign policy and his lunatic supply-side economics and reckless tax cuts. Everyone in Georgetown agreed.

Only the smart set was wrong back then.

What about now? If you are a gentry liberal you think the president is doing the right thing by withdrawing from the Middle East. Arms are for hugging, after all. You applaud the president for “politicizing” the anti-Christian killings in Roseburg, Oregon, by an African-American killer. Because we have to do something to stop gun violence. You have his back on Black Lives Matter because police brutality, on “affordable health care” because insurance company profits, on bringing equality for gays because love wins, on protecting women from the “rape culture” on campus and microaggressions in the classroom. You don’t think the president needs teaching. You think he is right.

I agree with the liberals. I too want a president who will stick to his guns, a president, though, who will keep advancing in a conservative direction despite the hail of liberal artillery and the squibs from MSNBC. I just think that the liberal world view, in which Barack Obama was carefully taught and to which he sticks like glue, is a dreadful and reactionary fantasy ideology.

We can spend all night arguing about why Barack Obama believes so many things that ain’t so. Perhaps a good way to think about it is to read about Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party in Britain, who divorced his wife because she didn’t want to send their kid to a bog-standard comprehensive school.

But I think it all boils down to one question: Do you really think, Barack and Jeremy, that government is the way to get to your society of equality and liberation and emancipation? As I understand it, your ideal world to which the arc of history is bending is one in which there is no domination, no exploitation, no oppression. How in the world do you expect to get that from big government, when government is force and the only results that a sane man can expect from the application of government force are domination, exploitation and oppression? Not to mention the odd death camp?

And here is another question. As I understand it, the first job of government is to protect its people from enemies foreign and domestic. So why does President Unteachable do nothing about foreign enemies and domestic gang-bangers, but bring the full force of government against young men on campus and white Hispanics?

Enough of that. Let’s talk about the next unteachable President of the United States.

Could it be that the reason that the Republican Party multitudes are restless is that we are the unreconstructed cranks that don’t really want much from government, except its basic functions of defending us against enemies foreign and domestic?

To get that, we would need a president who’s unteachable. We want a president that just can’t be taught to believe that America is to blame for all the world’s problems. We want a president that just can’t be taught to think that young inner-city black male gang-bangers are helpless victims of racist police. We just want a simple sort of guy or gal who can’t get past the idea that the president’s job is to protect us from foreign totalitarian ideologies and local thugs, and that’s about it.

I want a president that’s so unteachable that he or she just can’t get get the point about the fight against inequality. Or fighting to eliminate disparate impact. Or fighting to make housing “affordable.” Suppose, my president would say, I’m a struggling businessman, wouldn’t it pay me to hire the traditionally marginalized? Wouldn’t it be more profitable than hiring stuck-up Ivy League grads? Wouldn’t the way to make housing affordable be to reduce regulations and pricey environmental requirements rather than flood the nation with cheap credit?

An unteachable President? It could work, as long as the president was conservative.

January 03, 2017

I Want a President Who Loves America: Pre-Inaugural Edition

Two years ago in this space I wrote that “I Want a President Who Loves America.” I started out by telling how I fell in love with America 51 years ago on my first trip to the US over Christmas 1965.  MORE...

December 06, 2016

I Want a President Who Tells Us His Sense of the World

Why is the US in Syria? Why is the US in Yemen? What was the point of dumping Khadafi in Libya? Do you have a clue what is going on? I don’t have a clue about any of that either.  MORE...

November 01, 2016

I Want a President that Loves America, Part Trois

Back in January of 2015 I wrote my first piece in the “I Want a President” series and the title was simply “I Want a President Who Loves America.” I wrote simply about my love for America and how, in the Obama years, I longed for a president that loved America like I did. And now I see that an African American, “Gloria,” agrees with me.  MORE...

October 04, 2016

I Want a President Who Will End Victimism

Great news! The Obama administration is proposing a new race category. It’s for people of Middle Eastern and North African descent — MENA for those in the know. Why? It’s obvious when you go to USA Today and read the blather about how the new race category could solve all kinds of problems with community identity and private-sector discrimination. In other words, liberals are going full-speed ahead to square up Muslims as another victim group for their victim politics.  MORE...

September 06, 2016

I Want a President to Lift Government Off the Brow of Labor

Back in the 19th century William Jennings Bryan spoke for working men everywhere when he declared:  MORE...

August 02, 2016

I Want a President That Won’t Stiff the Opposition

So Hillary Clinton has been nominated as the candidate for President of the United States, the first woman ever so nominated by a major party.  MORE...

July 05, 2016

I Want a President Born on the Fourth of July. Really

Eighteen months ago I started this I Want a President series with “I Want a President Who Loves America.” I wrote of my love for America and how I’d like a president that loved America as much as I did.  MORE...

June 07, 2016

I Want a President Who Can Tame America’s Lefty Rioters

There they go again. In San Jose last week, lefty demonstrators rioted against typical Americans leaving a Donald Trump rally, and the mayor of San Jose blamed Donald Trump for the violence. In the 21st century, in a democratic republic where “the people rule,” what is going on?  MORE...

May 03, 2016

I Want a President Who Can Teach Us to Accept Capitalism

In last week’s foreign policy speech Donald Trump had this to say about jobs:  MORE...

April 05, 2016

I Want a President to Teach Liberals a Lesson

The eternal frustration of every conservative is the way the public square is skewed in favor of liberals. “Right-wing extremism” is said to be a problem, but left-wing street riots are nothing but “peaceful protest.” We are to understand that anything less than a flat-out denunciation of loser David Duke and the pathetic remnants of the Ku Klux Klan is disqualifying while the accomplished racist agitator, Reverend Al Sharpton, gets White House invitations and fawning profiles in Vanity Fair.  MORE...

March 01, 2016

I Want a President Who is My Kind of Con-man

Many conservative pundits and principled Republicans are recoiling from Donald Trump on the grounds that he is a con-man, a confidence trickster. To which my retort is: So?  MORE...

February 02, 2016

I Want a President for Americans that Follow the Rules, Go to Work, and Obey the Law

It’s true! The pundits have just discovered that Republicans and Democrats really are different, after all. First, there’s the Kaiser Family Foundation poll that shows that Democrats want specifics from politicians and Republicans want principles. Then there’s the MSNBC campaign switch, reported by young Ezra Klein. He quotes Benjy Sarlin:  MORE...

January 05, 2016

I Want a President That Loves America. Again

It was just a year ago that I floated my dearest political wish upon the waters: “I Want a President Who Loves America.” It really wasn’t asking much. Since then, I’ve written again and again about what I want in a president.  MORE...

December 08, 2015

I Want a President Who Understands the Value of the Nation State

President Obama’s Oval Office address on Sunday night was par for the course: steady as she goes, and don’t let’s be beastly to the Muslims.  MORE...

November 03, 2015

I Want a President That Demonstrates Strategic Vision

Now that President Obama has sent boots on the ground into Syria, the question is: What’s the strategy? We know the president’s strategy on domestic policy; he wants to expand government-by-experts to the utter limit. And he wants to keep today’s hyphenated Americans by dividing them from “typical Americans” using Frankfurt School and Alinsky techniques to keep them hived off in identity silos. But what is the famed Lightworker’s strategy for the Middle East?  MORE...

September 08, 2015

I Want a President That is a "Strong Leader." Not!

Last week, as I was practicing my French with DuoLingo, I heard Rush Limbaugh making a penetrating point about the 2016 election. It’s like 2008, he said, only this time it is conservatives that are investing all their hopes in an untried candidate and assuming he agrees with them.  MORE...

August 06, 2015

I Want a President Who Will Encourage the Millennials

If there’s one group in America that’s hurting worse than the African Americans in Prince George’s County looking at $300,000 mortgages on their $150,000 homes, it’s got to be the Millennials.  MORE...

July 07, 2015

I Want a President Born on the Fourth of July

Just in time for the fireworks, Gallup reports that the share of Americans that are “extremely proud” of America is down to 54%. It was 58% when America elected its First Black President (H/T PJMedia).  MORE...

June 02, 2015

I Want a President Who Cares About People Like Me

It is, I think, scandalous that Barack Obama won the “cares about people like me” sweepstakes over Mitt Romney by 81%-18% in 2012. The New York Post reported that it wasn’t an accident:  MORE...

May 05, 2015

I Want a President That "Gets" the Economy

Oh well, another day, another dollar, as the Obama economy continues to disappoint with a 0.2 percent growth rate for GDP in the first quarter for 2015.  MORE...

March 31, 2015

I Want a President Who Plays by the Rules

If you are a politician, why bother to play by the rules? Or if you are a citizen, why should you care whether the political leaders on your team play by the rules? (It goes without saying that we all care when the Other Guys break the rules.)  MORE...

March 03, 2015

I Want a President Who'll Dump the Stupid FCC

It was the Progressive Era that invented independent regulatory agencies. We needed an Interstate Commerce Commission to regulate those railroads. The noble idea was that we needed independent experts to protect the helpless farmer from the greed of the railroad barons. We needed a watchdog that was free of both of partisan taint and political patronage and also free from influence by corporate power.  MORE...

December 30, 2014

I Want a President That Loves America

I first fell in love with America 49 years ago. I flew from the UK to Denver visit my parents in Christmas 1965, and it was love at first sight. I fell in love with America, the land; I fell in love with America, the people. And I fell in love with the American way of life, the unconsciously optimistic approach to life and work and the future.  MORE...