Re: Obama vs. Obama

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The video of Obama vs. Obama is extremely interesting. As a candidate, Obama spoke fluidly and quickly as if he were inspired and believed what he was saying, although this could have been inspired by attacking the opposition. As president, he is tired, terribly deliberate, holding back, speaking haltingly with more long pauses (a long one right before he says “We’re going to have to make some choices, as a society”), choosing his words carefully, as if he is an aged and infirm man.

As candidate, he praised constitutional guidelines and criticized false tradeoffs. As president, he embraces tradeoffs, explains them and says he has to make a choice, and he mentions it’s also his team’s choice. He now views himself, not as upholding the law, but as maximizing the social utility of the nation by choosing the best tradeoff between safety and the Constitution. This is an impossible task. It is equally impossible to control the economy, produce social welfare, and alleviate other ills through power politics.

The American system (and other systems of government worldwide) reflect impossible goals and impossible tasks required of political powers. In becoming president, the true beliefs of Obama surfaced, which were utilitarian. This is one reason why he sought the presidency and it’s one reason why those who seek the presidency and attain it never keep their promises. Once in the office, they listen to the powers and advisors around them in order to implement their utilitarianism. They give in to the temptation to “do good” for the nation as they see it and in fact they’ve been elected to do exactly that, and that’s what’s wrong to begin with. There is no way in the world that one man or a small body of them can promote the General welfare using power politics, not in the ways that it is construed in this day and age.

Obama has aged a great deal, more than the few years that have passed alone justify. This happens to many presidents. Why? If they could do the job, if it were within their capabilities, if they relished it in the doing as much as they did in the seeking, this would not happen. The attempt to do the impossible and the futile and to see that it usually backfires or does not work and that the “problems” multiply — this is a deeply stressing process.

6:58 am on June 12, 2013