“Spare the rod, spoil the child.” — Samuel Butler
Last week, Vanity Fair published an adaptation of Zev Chafets’ biography of FOX News President Roger Ailes, in which Ailes described President Barack Obama as “lazy.”
Ailes may be correct in saying that Obama “never worked a day in his life.” Yet I do not believe that the President is lazy. I think Obama was spoiled rotten by his mother and her parents and that he has continued to be spoiled rotten by overly adoring liberals.
The real Obama clearly expressed himself in 2008 when he became exasperated by reporters after a news conference: “Come on! I just answered, like, eight questions.”
Sorry, Obama, for thinking it was anyone’s job to ask you questions.
Obama is the last person in the room to be sorry about anything. (There is plenty to be learned about Obama in Richard Minter’s recent book Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him.)
According to White House records, the President was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 4, 1961. That makes him a member of Generation X, those born between 1960 and 1984.
What makes many of that generation so special is that they are born to baby boomers, who rejected raising their children the way generations of Americans had raised theirs. The baby boom went bust when they overindulged and spoiled their kids.
Raised by a single mother who was taking college classes, our 44th President had zero contact with his father. Instead, he found himself with his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, who was “finding herself” while traveling the world and continually going to college. When he was 10, Obama’s mother left him with his doting maternal grandparents.
Obama was not spoiled by money but by attention and adulation. One of only a handful of black kids at his high school in Hawaii, he was given extra merit for his intelligence. It seems clear that his grandparents, teachers and fellow students fawned over him, giving him an exaggerated sense of self.
Social scientists say that our basic personality is shaped at an early age. I have found that to be true. If we turn out to be kindhearted, industrious or insolent at 50, our behavior is cemented at a young age. In this regard Obama exhibits the personality of the peevish boy that he was while growing up.
On Jan. 27, New Republic published an interview with Obama.
One question asked was:
It seems as if you’re relying more on executive orders to get around these problems. You’ve done it for gun control, for immigration. Has your view on executive authority changed now that you’ve been president for four years?
… [T]here are certain issues where a judicious use of executive power can move the argument forward or solve problems that are of immediate-enough import that we can’t afford not to do it. And today, just to take an example, the notion that we wouldn’t be collecting information on gun violence just to understand how it happens, why it happens, what might reduce it–that makes no sense. …
Clearly, Obama sees things his way: the way a 5-year-old sees a Tonka truck.
The Telegraph summed up Obama’s leadership qualities:
President Obama sees his re-election as a mandate to continue the very policies that will eventually bankrupt the country unless they are reversed, regardless of huge opposition on Capitol Hill. It chimes closely with the president’s second inaugural address…, which offered absolutely no olive branches to the nearly 61 million Americans who voted for his opponent in November.
It wouldn’t be hard to fill a book on Obama’s self-centeredness. When Neil Armstrong died in August, the President posted a picture of himself looking up at the moon. What should have been a President talking about the greatness of an American hero became another self-aggrandizing moment by Obama.
How Dr. Spock Ruined America
I will wager that Obama never got a spanking. His upbringing is the kind that is on constant display; the baby boomers of my age were bound and determined to never use discipline on their children. Instead, they praised their children as being “special.” When those kids acted up, they begged and pleaded with them to be good.
I was hardly “Father Knows Best.” Most of the credit for the way our children turned out goes to their mother. But I won’t shy away from the fact that I did administer spankings to our kids on rare occasions, just as my parents did with me and my siblings.
Today, our children are 25, 28 and 30 years old. They all have good jobs, live independently and, in their adult years, have thanked me for the discipline they got.
What earned a spanking? A clear example was our eldest. When he was 4 we took him to the Seattle Zoo. As we got to our car, he got this strange look on his face and immediately bolted into traffic. I yelled, “Stop!” He kept going and reached a lane where there was an oncoming car approaching at 30 mph. The fact that I was then young saved his life.
When pregnant with that child my wife read what millions of baby boomers read: Baby and Child Care by Benjamin Spock, M.D.
If you ever thought Spock was a plethora of knowledge, think again. In 1989, while revising that book, he wrote: “I visited a small private school… with the idea of asking children… what advice to parents they’d like me to incorporate in the forthcoming revision of Baby and Child Care. … In a thoughtful mood, the class was unanimous that parents should not hit their children.”
I am shocked! What is next: recruits in the Marine Corp will say they don’t like PT?
Look around and you can see bratty behavior on display. (Shopping malls come to mind.) And kids don’t grow out of it. I have a friend that consults for a college football team. He tells me that sometimes parents call up the head coach at the university and question him as to why their son isn’t playing more.
There was a CBC TV documentary two years ago about post-baby boomers. It included a segment where parents phoned bosses of their 20-something children to complain that Johnny and Sally were not being treated fairly at work. The program concluded that spoiling children took off with Generation X.
Obama is not the only one in government who was spoiled. The ranks of Congress are also becoming filled with the overindulged and pampered prodigy of the baby boomer generation.
In today’s Congress, there are 115 members who belong to Generation X. While the average age of Congress is high by historical standards, its ranks are being filled by people who did not suffer events like the Great Depression and World War II. I don’t doubt that most of these members are intelligent and capable. I doubt many of them faced much hardship or discipline. They continue to demonstrate that they simply can’t “play nice” with others.
Yours in good times and bad,
Editor, Myers’ Energy & Gold Report