Arlington VA June 2, 2015
John V. Tieso
Speaking to a group of Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Fellows at the White House, President Barack Obama said that under his leadership, the United States has become the most respected country in the world. The White house did not provide a source for his statement, but it seems well at odds with other sources who recently published their estimates.
First, according to a 2014 survey conducted by the Reputation Institute and covered by Forbes, the top nod goes to Switzerland, with the US falling to 22nd place. The top 22 countries are shown on the chart below.
Then, the BBC published its listing of those with the most influence, covering roughly the same period. That chart can be seen below, with the full story here.
This chart shows the US 8th in influence. However, influence does not connote respect, only power and capabilities.
That still leaves us with the evidence of the President's remark. Listen to the entire presentation here.
My personal perspective is that this speech is simply another attempt at trying to fashion a legacy of some sort from a presidency otherwise in shambles. Despite diligent efforts, the White House cannot point to anything truly lasting created by Obama and his minions--other than discord, divisiveness, and civil strife.
Let's look a just a few examples:
Immigration: Hundreds of thousands of illegals let into the country, given papers, disappearing into the various states, with few even appearing for immigration hearings--where they are even held. The courts have most of his 'executive actions'; tied up in litigation, and many legal experts suggest he violated the Constitution and several Federal laws to do what he did. IMMIGRATION REFORM IN SHAMBLES.
Healthcare: The Affordable Care Act could have been a well-thought out and beneficial program, advancing healthcare to nearly universal coverage. All Obama had to do was work with the Congress-both sides of the Congress--to develop a plan that would work. Instead, it became a Democrat showpiece, not mired in legal challenges, further delays, a horrible introduction, billions of dollars wasted trying to make it work. The Supreme Court and myriad other courts are considering those challenges, and many are expected to go against the Government.
Insurance companies are beginning to announce major rate increases, and people are also beginning to realize they get nothing from the insurance companies due to high deductibles. They continue to pay for their care, and they pay premiums to insurance companies, essentially for a piece of paper worth noting unless you can generate enough care to offset the deductible. HEALTHCARE IN A CONTINUING STATE OF DISARRAY.
Veterans' Care: The Veterans Administration is in shambles--trying to recover from several scandals, all related to the lack of quality and timely healthcare to the Nations' veterans. Thousands of veterans injured further by the lack of fidelity by the Government. The perpetrators simply shielded from public view and very few fired. VETERANS HEALTHCARE IN SHAMBLES.
Internal Revenue Service: The IRS has not been used as a political football since Richard Nixon was forced from office in 1974. Under the Obama Administration, it violated ethics,m privacy, lied to the Congress, hid evidence, and continues to harass those who don't agree with the administration. The latest affront has been the lack of security on taxpayer information. No major figure fired. Lois Lerner took the Fifth Amendment and the Department of Justice has refused to prosecute. IRS IN SHAMBLES.
Military Readiness and Effectiveness: Perhaps nowhere is the failures of the Obama Administration more evident than his cowardly use of his powers as "Commander-in-Chief" to effectively remove the US from the world stage as a major power. He has destroyed the careers of a generation of senior and middle-grade officers, dismissing and retiring those who disagree with his cowardly lion stances, and surrounds himself with syncophants who mimic his ridiculous pronouncements. DEFENSE IN TOTAL DISARRAY.
How does an administration which has all these problems, and can't even get the Sultan of Bahrain to come to a summit on ISIS (He considered a horse race in Britain more important) consider itself the most respected nation on earth? The notion is plain silly, and you have to wonder where Obama's speechwriters get their information.
Obama will be remembered for what he really was: A FAILURE OF A COLOSSAL DEGREE. it will take years for the US to recover from his mis-administration.