THE DISCOURTEOUS OBAMA WHITE HOUSE
Part of Ronald Reagan’s greatness lay in his affable nature and genuine concern for the welfare of others. When Reagan was in the White House, those surrounding him loved him and many outside the White House who barely knew him were deeply touched by his humble concern for their welfare. President Reagan carried on written correspondence with dozens of American citizens, paid certain destitute people’s rent and power bills, and even joined Nancy Reagan in dining on TV trays at the modest D.C. apartment of 5 year old Rudy Hines. He did all of this confidentially and with elegance, without attracting media attention. It was Reagan who first asked American heroes to be present at State of the Union Addresses to be honored.
Compare that great legacy with the recent incident involving President Barack Obama. This past Saturday, Army Captains Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. were scheduled to be married at the 16th tee box at Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course on the KanehoeMarine Corps Base in Hawaii. After months of planning and with less than 24 hours notice, the two soldiers were asked by the Obama White House to move the location for their wedding so the President could play golf. Professing ignorance of the conflict until after publicity of it arose and his golf game was finished, the President called the couple, apologized, and congratulated them on their nuptuals.
I dare say no discourteous behavior like this would ever have happened in the Reagan White House. Indeed, President Reagan was quick to inconvenience himself to avoid offense to others, as those who knew him well have informed me over the years. Joseph Morris, the former General Counsel of the Office of Personnel Management, told me years ago of a story he had been privy to from the Reagan White House. At one cabinet meeting, two of those present were engaged in vigorous conversation when President Reagan entered the room. It is the custom for all to rise and remain silent when the President enters, taking their seats after the President is seated. Oblivious to his entry, the two officials kept conversing. Rather than show any displeasure, the President politely invited the two not to mind him and to complete their conversation (this, by the way, was during the midst of the PATCO strike). Once mindful that the President was in fact in their presence, the two joined the others by becoming silent and standing until the President sat down.
Were President Obama sufficiently conscientious, he would have wanted to know if his activities on vacation would disrupt private events, like a wedding. But that is not Obama’s way. He is the “selfie” President, too self-absorbed to be that conscientious. Moreover, were he truly oblivious to the impact of his intrusion and truly sorry for it, he would have offered to pay whatever additional costs these two soldiers experienced as a result of the need for all the last minute changes.
Great Presidents appreciate the need for excellent manners, courteous behavior, and conscientiousness at every turn. They respect American citizens; do not hold them in disdain. When we reflect upon Ronald Reagan, we remember well his many acts of kindness, his humility, his grace, and his affable nature. He was truly great precisely because those wonderful aspects were so common in him that they defined our perception of him. By contrast, when we reflect upon Barack Obama, we find few comparable acts. Greatness has eluded Obama, despite his vigorous efforts at self-aggrandizement, precisely because he lacks the character of a truly great man, which always begins with genuine humility.
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© 2015 Jonathan W. Emord - All Rights Reserved
Jonathan W. Emord is an attorney who practices constitutional and administrative law before the federal courts and agencies. Ron Paul calls Jonathan “a hero of the health freedom revolution” and says “all freedom-loving Americans are in [his] debt . . . for his courtroom [victories] on behalf of health freedom.” He has defeated the FDA in federal court a remarkable eight times, seven on First Amendment grounds, and is the author of the Amazon bestsellers The Rise of Tyranny, Global Censorship of Health Information, and Restore the Republic. He is the American Justice columnist for U.S.A. Today Magazine and joins Robert Scott Bell weekly for “Jonathan Emord’s Sacred Fire of Liberty,” an hour long radio program on government threats to individual liberty. For more info visit Emord.com, join the Emord FDA/FTC Law Group on Linkedin, and follow Jonathan on twitter (@jonathanwemord).
Presidents appreciate the need for excellent manners, courteous behavior,
and conscientiousness at every turn. They respect American citizens;
do not hold them in disdain. When we reflect upon Ronald Reagan, we
remember well his many acts of kindness, his humility, his grace, and
his affable nature.