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About Paul R. Hollrah
Paul R. Hollrah is a freelance writer. He is a member of the Civil Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni at the University of Missouri - Columbia and a Senior Fellow at the Lincoln Heritage Institute. He currently resides in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
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Inside Obama’s Head
Paul R. Hollrah
February 24, 2014
In the August 18, 2011 edition of The American Thinker, writer Matt Patterson published an article titled, "Obama: The Affirmative Action President."

Patterson wrote, "Years from now, historians may regard the 2008 election of Barack Obama as an inscrutable and disturbing phenomenon, a baffling breed of mass hysteria akin perhaps to the witch craze of the Middle Ages. How, they will wonder, did a man so devoid of professional accomplishment beguile so many into thinking he could manage the world's largest economy, direct the world's most powerful military, execute the world's most consequential job?"

He continued, "Imagine a future historian examining Obama's pre-presidential life: ushered into and through the Ivy League despite unremarkable grades and test scores along the way; a cushy non-job as a 'community organizer;' a brief career as a state legislator devoid of legislative achievement (and in fact nearly devoid of his attention, so often did he vote "present"); and finally, an unaccomplished single term in the United States Senate, the entirety of which was devoted to his presidential ambitions. He left no academic legacy in academia, authored no signature legislation as a legislator."

Looking at Obama from a distance, Patterson provides an accurate picture of how any objective observer might see him. But how does Obama see himself? Putting ourselves inside his skin and inside his head would be a far more interesting and instructive exercise.

Just imagine a young black man living in a family of all white people... mother, grandfather, and grandmother... after having been deserted by his black father. Just as welfare recipients come to resent the hand that feeds them, it is easy to see how a young black man growing up in a white family, his skin color a constant reminder that he was "different," would come to resent his white parent and grandparents... and by extension, all white people.

Obama stressed his struggle with self-identity in his book Dreams from My Father. Regarding white people, he said, "I ceased to advertise my mother's race at the age of 12 or 13, when I began to suspect that by doing so I was ingratiating myself to whites."

In describing the man who gave him the only job he ever held outside the halls of government, his job as a "community organizer" in south Chicago, he said, "There was something about him that made me wary, a little too sure of himself, maybe. And white."

By the time he entered college, Obama was fully committed to the racial divide between blacks and whites. Of his years as a student at Occidental College, he wrote, "It remained necessary to prove which side you were on, to show your loyalty to the black masses, to strike out and name names... I never emulate white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, DuBois and Mandela."

We have all been confronted on occasion by challenges for which we felt totally unprepared... challenges that appeared insurmountable. That being the case, it is all the more mystifying how a man of Obama's meager background and experience could believe that he should be seen as a viable candidate for president of the United States. How could a young man, such as Patterson describes, suddenly see himself in that role, knowing that he has never run so much as a sidewalk lemonade stand, knowing that he has no qualifications whatsoever for the job?

What must it be like to one day look into a mirror and say to the person reflected therin, "You're a pretty good looking guy. You were lucky enough to grow up in the tropics, in Hawaii and Indonesia, and even though your parents and grandparents weren't wealthy, you were lucky enough to go to a private prep school and Ivy League colleges on someone else's dime. You spent several years working with black activists on the streets of Chicago and you spent a few years as a back-bencher in the Illinois state senate. Hey!! You're something really special! You should run for president of the United States." What sort of man could have that conversation with himself... and do it with a straight face?

Fortunately for Obama, there was an oversupply of pent-up white guilt within the ranks of the Democrat Party. And in spite of the fact that party leaders knew him to be not only unqualified, but ineligible as well, he was the sort of "rock star" politician who would appeal to white liberals and young white Democrats. It mattered little that he would be incapable of governing; all they cared about was that he would look good before the TV cameras and that he could read convincingly from a teleprompter. They would put the necessary words in his mouth.

But, of all of Obama's current responsibilities, his relationship with the military is where he appears to be most out of place and ill at ease... a pair of brown shoes at a black tie ball. In neither of his memoirs does he give the slightest hint that he ever considered enrolling in the ROTC programs at either Occidental College or Columbia University. Yet, just sixteen years after graduating from Harvard Law School, he stood before the American people and proclaimed that he felt capable of serving as commander in chief of the largest and most powerful military machine in the history of the world. What sort of outsized ego would that require?

Those of us who've placed our lives on the line as members of the uniformed services can't help but experience a stomach-turning revulsion each time we see Obama bounding down the steps of Marine One on the south lawn of the White House, flashing a sloppy half-salute at the well-turned out young Marine standing at the base of the stairs. Any normal person of Obama's background and experience would feel an overwhelming sense of inadequacy. But what goes though Obama's mind? And what goes through the minds of those young Marines?

To serve as a member of the Silent Drill Platoon and Color Guard at the 8th & I Street Barracks in Washington... the Marine contingent responsible for guard and escort duty at the White House... is a much coveted assignment in the Marine Corps. But it would be interesting to know what went through the minds of all those young Marines when they first learned that Barack Obama, a man who was too cowardly to wear the uniform of the US military, a usurper who was ineligible to serve in the office, would be occupying the White House for at least the next four years. How could they bring themselves to salute a man so undeserving of their respect?

Most Marines would rather take their chances on the field of battle in Iraq or Afghanistan than to suffer the embarrassment of standing in the rain next to Obama, dressed in spiffy blue-white dress uniform, holding an umbrella over the usurper's head while he addressed a small group of fawning sycophants in the White House rose garden.

And while it is easy to understand the revulsion felt by the men and women of the enlisted ranks, what goes through the minds of long-serving generals and admirals, their chests covered with row upon row of medals and service ribbons, evidence of their long service to God and country, when they are forced to salute him and address him as "sir" or "mister president?" What sort of colossal ego does it take for such an unremarkable man to expect that kind of treatment from men and women of real accomplishment?

What all of this tells us is that what motivates Barack Obama is far more than a super-inflated ego, far more than pathological narcissism. He is, as Dr. Samuel Vaknin has described him, a "total incognito with zero accomplishment." But even that does not describe how Obama sees himself, what goes on inside his head. Instead, we can only conclude that Obama's opinion of himself is simply beyond human comprehension. Just as the human mind is incapable of comprehending the infinite nature of the universe, neither can the human mind comprehend the boundaries of what Obama appears to see in himself.

When Obama proclaimed in his June 4, 2008 nomination acceptance speech that, "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal," most of us laughed because we knew that just the opposite was true. But there were many who actually believed him and were inspired by his soaring rhetoric. What those of us who laughed knew, intuitively, is that what appeared to be bravado was actually a cover for nothingness.

What best describes Obama is a brief two sentence quotation from Eric Hoffer, the renowned longshoreman/philosopher, who said, "Our greatest pretenses are built up not to hide the evil and the ugly in us, but our emptiness. The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there."

Yes, Barack Obama is an evil man and the political philosophy that guiders his every word and deed are truly ugly. It is that evil and that ugliness that Obama seeks to hide by his bravado and his pretentiousness; it is the emptiness of his promise of hope and change that is at the heart of his pretentions.

And while a majority of Americans still find Obama to be "likeable," an even larger majority have come to see that there is no real substance to him. As Hofer tells us, "The hardest thing to hide is something that is not there." Where Barack Obama is concerned, there is no there, there.








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