Now that he’s president, Barack Obama has new clothes, even if they don’t always fit. What he still lacks is class. Tailors can’t fix that.
Before, during, and since the president’s elevation to his stratospheric altitude in the vault of the heavens, he has been adorned in an unprecedented array of resplendent raiments of praise befitting his One-ness.
Not only can he do no wrong; he must also be seen as always doing what’s right (that is to say, left).
If he appears at times to be in contradiction, or inconsistency, with his One-ness, it only appears that this is so. For, by contemporary wisdom, that is an entirely admirable attribute of his being The One. And since he is, he can be no other. Nor can any other be he. Thus, whatever he is at any given moment in time, he can nowise be in contradiction thereof.
Who, not being of status anywhere close to that of The One, can possibly say otherwise? If you ain’t been there yourself, you just ain’t been.
But, lesser ones still might ask, “If all that the general public (a.k.a. the masscomm audience) can see are his new clothes, and if there’s no there there, how can anyone tell if what’s not there is class?”
Since the president’s degree of déclassé is not a topic tolerated for public observation or discussion, this seeming conundrum must be approached silently, in solitude, and behind closed doors after the children are abed or safely watching smut on television.
Under those conditions, how, if the president has no class, is his populace to know what he’s doing that is classless? It’s a bit like Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s celebrated dictum non-defining hard-core pornography: “I know it when I see it.”
So, the answer is that if the president’s classlessness is observed, it must be without comment about: The way he walks, the way he talks, the way he looks down his nose. The way he hasn’t learned to tie a four-in-hand necktie like the men do. The way he smirks in public gatherings at crude, inappropriate humor. The way he sulks or huffs like a spoiled child when disputed or denied. The haughty way he fakes erudition off his teleprompter screens and proffers profundities on subjects in which he lacks credentials. The way he says, “as I’ve said before,” when he hasn’t. The way he jumps down, spins around, picks a new position when the one he holds drifts downstream toward the unpopular. The way he tries to straddle two horses racing in diverging directions. The way he concocts ever-shifting lexicons for marketing distasteful policies when public perceptions catch up with reality. The way he can’t seem to avoid the first-person singular with almost every breath. The way he behaves not only as if it’s all about him but also as if he’s all about all that is.
The poor fellow is classlessly infatuated with his reflection in the gazing pool of media adulation. Narcissism was never remotely emblematic of a class act.
It’s just possible that The One who has The Gift may have at some moment noticed himself in one of the full-length hall mirrors in the White House and demanded: “What do they mean I have no class?”
Apparently, no one around him has what it takes to tell him: “If you have to ask you wouldn’t recognize it.”
John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com. Read John Perry's columns here.
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