Streetwise Professor

October 17, 2010

Barack Obama, Evolutionary Psychologist

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 7:09 pm

What could possibly explain Obama’s plummeting popularity?  The fact that he and his party rammed a deeply flawed, highly divisive, and deeply disliked health care “reform” bill through Congress against widespread popular opposition?  No way!  His administration’s fiscal incontinence?  Surely you jest!  Popular dismay at the discovery that the man who ran as a post-partisan, post-racial uniter was in fact rabidly partisan, divisive, and prone to making naked racial appeals?  How dare you even suggest it!  His administration’s relentless efforts to expand the reach of government into every nook and cranny of America?  Heaven forfend! The fact that the only thing “shovel ready” was his bullsh*t about the stimulus?  Impossible!

No, it is the fact that the American people who were supposedly reality-based and firmly in control of their emotions when they voted him into office at the apex of the financial apocalypse in November, 2008, are in October-November, 2010 so traumatized by economic circumstances that they are in the thrall of a fear that is hardwired into their psyches.  No, seriously:

At a Saturday-evening fundraiser held in the home of a wealthy Massachusetts hospital executive, President Obama suggested Democrats are having difficulties in midterm campaigning because Americans simply aren’t thinking clearly. Seeking to explain his party’s troubles, the president focused not on controversial legislation like national health care and the stimulus but on evolutionary psychology. “Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now, and facts and science and argument do not seem to be winning the day all the time, is because we’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we’re scared,” Obama told the assembled Democrats, who paid $15,200 a person to attend. “And the country is scared.

To “break through the fear and the frustration that people are feeling right now,” Obama told the crowd, will require high-end donors not just to “write checks” but also to “lift up people’s spirits and make sure that they’re not reacting just to fear.”

. . . .

At the Massachusetts event Saturday, Obama said November’s elections are “absolutely critical, because essentially you can respond in a couple of ways to a trauma like [the current recession]. I mean, one is to pull back, retrench, respond to your fears by pushing away challenges, looking backwards. And another is to say we can meet these challenges and we are going to move forward. And that’s what this election is about.”

The mind boggles.  It’s hard to know whether he believes this or not, or which alternative is worse.  Let’s consider.  Doesn’t believe it: we have  president who’s willing to heap slurs on the emotional balance of those disenchanted with him to rationalize his political nosedive.  Believes it: we have a delusional president who is so invested in his Olympian self-image that he is incapable of responding to feedback that screams that he’s careened off course, and actually believes that diagnosing vast swathes of America as emotionally crippled PTSD victims is a winning political pitch.

Whatever the explanation, I hope he sticks with it.  The more he condescends, the lower his fortunes, and those of his party, will descend.

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1 Comment »

  1. The man has his elitest head so far up his you know what that he is to blind to see that the electorate is in fact paying attention. They are not stupid and they are tired of being talked down to and lied to. This is easily one of the most pathetic creatures to ever inhabit the White House. And there are people who actually applaud this clowns leadership? What leadership. Lies and deception. that’s all there is.

    A real leader and a horse’s ass. Guess which is which. Hint: 33 men are alive thanks to leadership

    Comment by joetote — October 18, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

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