Published on Townhall.com
Our perilous times call for a leader to identify and defeat a sworn enemy, but instead of a Caesar Augustus, do we have a new Nero?
A few not-so-random thoughts may answer the question:
1. In his presser the other day, President Obama said, his voice breaking in a way Hollywoodians would love, that when he visits Walter Reed every few months and sees the broken and twisted bodies of young Americans, he cannot bear to sent more of them in harm’s way. Touching. Yet, some veterans find such pitying words from their national leader truly pitiful.
One man, brutally maimed, said that soldiers know what they sign up for—it’s not for life bennies and college training—it’s to protect us, all of us, and what our nation stands for. In a somewhat different way, we expect men and women who wear the uniform of a firefighter or police officer—and numberless others—to put their lives on the line as well, yet they don’t sit in the precinct house or the firehouse when danger is at hand. Isn’t it troubling, then, that this president and his progressive friends, Hillary Clinton included, while reticent to respond to a national threat, have no problem letting the Black-Lives-Matter crowd endanger law enforcement officers all across the land?
2. The progressives may be oblivious to the refugee issue, but to the rest of America, the connection between Syrian emigrants and our own immigration and border challenges is positively karmic. The president has steadfastly resisted his constitutionally sworn responsibility to seal our borders—all of them—to prevent illegal immigration, of course, but also, to restrain enemies from infiltrating our cities and towns. His administration has silently encouraged Sanctuary Cities, which not only house illegals taking service and construction jobs while struggling American citizens go jobless, they house miscreants of all kinds, leagues of systemic spongers, and serial criminals, all preying upon their benefactors.
Now comes the notion that for humanitarian reasons, we should absorb into the homeland thousands of Syrian refugees who will in the short term add to the competition for jobs, widen the gap between rich and poor, and in the long term, cluster into Shariah Law enclaves protecting another crop of incubated terrorists. The president and his minions assure us of a robust and thorough vetting process that will take one to two years before they will be admitted, but how thorough were those processes for the few thousand already here?
As a retired federal and private professional of some twenty-five years’ experience in checking the backgrounds of others, it has become sufficiently difficult—even with backing from the Patriot Act—to thoroughly clear a native American. When there are issues involved, combined with bureaucratic incompetencies and shortcutters under pressure (Edward Snowden is just one of many), the effort becomes even more difficult, expensive, and flawed. Now inject Syrian and other refugees into that system, keeping in mind these same people have been flatly refused entry by other Arab nations in their vicinity—nations with the same religious, language, and climactic environments. To us, they are national strangers without neighbors, friends, or employers to honestly vouch for them. The absolute truth is that we simply do not have the capability to satisfactorily process one thousand of them in a timely manner, never mind numbers much larger than that.
3. The above circumstances would be somehow manageable, though daunting, were we blest with a leader willing to acknowledge the responsibilities of an exceptional nation to itself and the world, and to respect the concerns and aspirations of its people. We are not. Through our own fault, our most grievous fault, we elected someone with a megalomaniac’s view of his world, which means he is egotistically incompetent, plain negligent, or cunningly adept. What is true, we may have to leave for history to decide. In the meantime, how can we trust this administration with our safety when it has used IRS agents to bully some of us, has weakened us militarily, has lied to us about Benghazi (if HRC lied and knew it, so did BHO), is attempting to deceive us with a phony “College Scorecard” (see Paul McNulty’s speech to The Heritage Foundation 11/16), and is now lying to us about vetting refugees?
Should we abide by an administration whose every social, domestic, and international act seems designed to contain, degrade, and destroy—not ISIS!—but the safety and security of all Americans? Should we idle ourselves on couches and streetcorners while ever more of Saul Alinsky’s Eight Levels of Control are implemented, one signature at a time? Should we continue the charade of comity by electing a Democrat to an Obamic third term?
Surely, our progressive friends wish to dine safely in casual cafes. Surely, they, too, want their children to attend sports venues and concerts without fear for their lives. Surely, they want a secure future for themselves, their families, and their nation. Don’t they?
Nero, as Roman Emperor from 54-68AD, comes to us fabled as the tyrant who let Rome burn to suit his own purposes, but some historians believe tales of Nero’s fiddling have been more imagination than fact, and that his legacy is somewhat more nuanced and accomplished.
The metaphor is striking, but limited. Barack Obama has been dawdling, dithering, and fiddling for the past few years with noble speeches and infamous red lines, but his determination not to wear the mantle of leadership will be more than a “setback” for his legacy. His failures will haunt his record for generations, but unfortunately for the rest of us, the disaster of Obamic proportions now underway is already our sorrow today.