The NPR radio show “Market Place” did an interview with President Obama last week. As they do in such interviews he was asked to describe his job in 5 words or less. This is what President Obama stated:
My job is to: Keep the American people safe and to create a platform for hard working people to succeed.
OK, first it’s not 5 words though he did say he could have boiled it down to 5 words. Second, the first 5 words seem so trite. Third, the remaining words…well trite again. In fact, it reminded me of his interview by 60 Minutes in 2010. What struck me with that interview was:
PRESIDENT OBAMA: …And, you know, I can make some really good arguments defending the Democratic position, and there are gonna be some people who just don’t agree with me. And that’s okay. And then we’ve got to figure out a way to compromise.
In keeping with my posting from 2010, I add this latest of President Obama’s statements to the “All you need to know to Understand President Obama” list. That is what these statements are. They are his self perception. They are a window into who he is.
Both of these moments of windows into his self perception suggest to me that this is a man whose convictions are not what I would consider deep. To me, a person with deep convictions is a better leader. I’m not qualifying convictions here, just say’n that the deeper the better, the more effective in achieving results (again, not qualifying results). But today maybe due to our conditioned acclimation to image over substance, George Carlin’s “Stuff”, that perception matters…only, we find ourselves electing too many who do not have deep convictions. Is this not the substance behind a “flip flop”?
I have a simple thought and question regarding life: Life is intention, what is yours? One’s intentions are the results of convictions. The deeper the convictions, the easier it is to know said person. Honest or not, selfish or not, the deeper the more consistent and thus easier to know. But, if I or other’s can not know you, then how can you persuade as in: “…I can make some really good arguments defending the Democratic position…”
Thus, the president comes up with a trite sounding job description that is soooooooooooooo far short of what I believe the job is. We’re talking the top administrative position for all that government represents and does yet he has reduced it to protection and success for “hard working” people. Where are the words that suggest his deepest convictions? Hell, what about all the rest of the people?
So, let me start it off with my 5 words: Assure government services people. Or: Assure government reduces Life’s risks. No long term, deep thought was needed here. And, it should not have taken much for President Obama to have come up with something similar that is more inclusive than “protect and hard working people”.
Now, you post your 5 words. And remember, the news/entertainment system is already talking about the next president.