Opinion

Rhetoric Doesn’t Earn Respect

JedediahVia Jedediah Bila at Breitbart News

By now, you may have seen Gallup’s recent poll concluding that, “For the first time, more Americans think President Barack Obama is not respected by other world leaders than believe he is. Americans’ opinions have shifted dramatically in the past year, after being relatively stable from 2010 to 2013.”

In 2013, 51% of Americans believed that leaders of other countries had respect for Barack Obama, with 43% believing that such leaders didn’t have much respect for him. Just one year later in 2014, only 41% believe that leaders of other countries respect Obama, with 53% believing that those leaders do not.

That’s a pretty big change in a pretty short period of time. Perhaps Obama’s confusing “red line” rhetoric with respect to Syria and his failed “reset” with Russia have something to do with it. In 2009, as a stark contrast, Gallup measured the number of Americans who believed that leaders of other countries had respect for Obama at a high 67%. That’s a 26% drop from 2009 to 2014.

Clearly, many believed in Barack Obama the campaigner, believed that he would somehow make leaders battling democratic principles around the world see the light through skilled, intellectual rhetoric and a willingness to negotiate.

Instead, what the world saw from Obama was inconsistency coupled with weakness. As it turns out, intellectual rhetoric doesn’t intimidate dictators, no matter how well it’s delivered. Weakness doesn’t earn respect from guys like Putin; it also doesn’t send them rushing to the negotiating table with open ears and open minds.

As you have watched the news developing in Ukraine and Venezuela this week, you can’t help but wonder what Barack Obama’s next move will be. And despite past trends, you can’t help but hope that it will be one that commands respect for the ideals we value as a country–freedom, economic opportunity, and human rights.

These are the moments that define who we are as a nation. Times like these remind us best why good leadership matters.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter
and Download the AMAC News App

Sign Up Today Download

If You Enjoy Articles Like This - Subscribe to the AMAC Daily Newsletter!

Sign Up Today
Read more articles by Jedediah Bila
Subscribe
Notify of
2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Brian J. Conway NY
7 years ago

All respectable world leaders shun Obogus like a one legged leper. His only friends have got their hand out.

PaulE
7 years ago

Another excellent article. Clear, concise and to the point. Your ending of “These are the moments that define who we are as a nation. Times like these remind us best why good leadership matters.” simply emphasizes the importance of the American people choosing much more wisely in the future. We live in a dangerous world and we cannot afford to make these kind of foolish and unnecessary mistakes in our leadership choices from either a domestic or foreign policy perspective.

As to the question you pose “As you have watched the news developing in Ukraine and Venezuela this week, you can’t help but wonder what Barack Obama’s next move will be.” The answer is unfortunately obvious. He will vacillate between giving tough-sounding, but ultimately totally empty speeches and doing what he does best: acting to appease those threatening peace and pro-democracy reforms around the world.

2
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x