The latest “Vanishing into Thin Air” series, which began with the Oct. 24 opinion piece on contemporary art: it’s Barack H. Obama’s turn.
The man who had been introduced — almost unanimously — as the new Messiah, made sacred by the color of his skin, turns out to be a pretty mediocre president of the United States. Indeed, last Wednesday morning the midterm elections confirmed the Democratic Party’s defeat in Congress. It is losing its Senate majority in favor of the Republicans, who have already controlled the House of Representatives since 2010. The American economic recovery, due to a monetary policy that brought unemployment down to 5.9 percent and boosted growth to 3.5 percent, was of no help whatsoever in the face of the accumulated disillusionment aroused by Obama’s distant personality and indecisive nature. In addition to domestic policy issues — the National Security Agency, illegal immigration, health system, etc. — on a more general level, voters are blaming him for having weakened the United States in the eyes of the world. They are pointing out, to those who had forgotten the Jimmy Carter episode, that good policy isn’t made of good intentions. Obama’s failure is also that of the “politically correct,” of which he is the dog-eared symbol.
Remember the hysteri of the French “Obamaniacs.” In 2008, they suspected anyone of racism who criticized the disquieting reference to the Democratic candidate’s skin color: Black was seen as being a sufficient demonstration of his abilities and virtues. “America is black,” French newspaper Le Monde rejoiced, while the media swore only by “mixed heritage” in a racialist fascination with the perfect man. Yet, as Bernard Tapie said this morning on the French radio station RTL on the subject of the racism trial involving Willy Sagnol, manager of the Bordeaux football club, following his tactless language toward African players: “We must have the right to say that a black man is an idiot when he’s an idiot. The same goes for a white man.” Obama indeed has a brilliant mind. Nonetheless, he did not deserve to be praised to high heaven, as he was, on the pretext that he was mixed-race, and that he was also of Muslim descent, as shown by his middle name, Hussein, all the more so because his way of reaching out to Muslim brothers and “moderate Islam” revealed his naivety, which followers of the caliphate, who are on the increase today, spotted. Anti-racist ideology remains, with its unsettling preference for blacks and those of mixed race.