The wish? That everything he touched turned to gold.
And, as the story goes, the fool nearly starved to death because indeed everything he touched turned to gold—including his food.
Ironically (despite the negative consequences of Midas’ wish), today the expression “Midas touch” is a positive one, describing someone who has a knack for making something successful in a positive sense.
I thought about the self-seeking King Midas as President Obama (despite his political legacy having been thoroughly rejected by voters in November) spoke for nearly an hour in his farewell speech, which was longer than the “combined length of the three two-term presidents who preceded him.”
But even more than that, I had King Midas’ touch in mind as I considered the impact that just one person can have.
For many people, Barack Obama is a legend—though largely because he rammed and shoved and coerced things through that they happened to like.
In reality, he’s set dangerous precedents and wreaked perhaps irreparable damage on the office, on this republic, and on our people as a whole.
Let’s take a gander:
1.We are weaker in the eyes of our enemies.
Much like the Iranians felt emboldened by the comparatively weak and acquiescent Carter administration when they held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, today’s global bullies show similar fearlessness. From the Iranian aggression against U.S. ships in international waters, to their baseless holding and humiliation of our sailors; from Russian jets buzzing (on multiple occasions) U.S. military ships, to China’s capturing an underwater U.S. drone, as well as vastly expanding its network of spies and asserting military presence in the South China Sea—the world feels the slack in U.S. strength.
What’s more, our Commander in Chief endangered every one of us by ignoring the most fundamental element of defeating one’s enemy: identifying it. Instead, he has downplayed Islam’s central role in Islamic terror (claiming instead that they’re just “violent fanatics who claim to speak for Islam”) and barely gave it a passing nod in his farewell address. As writer Bill Whalen put it:
“Not until nearly midway into his remarks did the only president to serve an entire two terms with a nation at war delve into terrorism. Not that it was much a deep dive. The former constitutional law professor rolled ISIS into a big ball of human rights, women’s right and LBGT rights – and from there, naturally, protecting voting rights and a closing passage in which Obama called for his countrymen to become a nation of community organizers.”
Adding insult to injury, we’ve snubbed our allies and actively endangered them, too. One of President Obama’s first orders of business as he set up shop in the Oval Office was to return the bust of Winston Churchill to Great Britain, and one of his last was to slap our ally Israel in the face by “orchestrating the anti-settlement resolution passed by the UN Security Council last month,” which once again puts the only democracy in the Middle East in increased danger by validating the position of their violent enemies.
2. He used his office to divide our nation by race, gender, political party, religion.
A recent Gallup poll shows that a record high number of Americans feel that this country is more divided than ever.
Why? Because this president has used his office and his influence to inject himself into nearly every racial and societal upheaval in the last eight years. Instead of letting the Constitution do its job in limiting government and protecting the God-given rights of each man, woman and child—you know, the basics: life, liberty and pursuit of happiness—Barack Obama felt it was his responsibility to interpret new “rights,” and use his pen and his phone to enact his will no matter who and what it trampled.
He’s also treated his political counterparts as enemies. While he spoke glowingly of politics as “battle of ideas” in his farewell address, and that we should all be willing to “admit new information and concede that your opponent might be making a fair point,” I remember when he told Republicans that we could “come along for the ride,” but that we’d have to “sit in back.”
3. He routinely abused his presidential power and severely damaged states’ rights.
In his farewell address, several times he quoted our Founders and spoke of the importance of our Founding Documents—all the while his legacy shreds them. From things like his recess appointments to his rewriting of the Affordable Care Act from the Oval office; from deferring deportation of illegal aliens through DAPA to suing the state of Arizona for enforcing federal immigration law, Barack Obama proved time and again he never cared about the Founders or what they had to say about limits on federal power.
4. He put American citizens in greater danger by besmirching our police and refusing to quell (and in fact often participating in) race-baiting at every opportunity.
A brand new study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that 75% of officers say “they are hesitant to use force, even when appropriate, and are less willing to stop and question suspicious people” thanks to the “Ferguson Effect,” a societal phenomenon rooted in the officer involved shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. A majority of officers say “interactions between police and blacks have become more tense,” and a whopping 93% of officers report that they’re much more concerned about their own safety as compared to years past. So do the math: fewer criminals are stopped, and less good people are likely to enter the police force. Yeah, sounds safe.
“But he’s done; he’s leaving!” some might say, “Why dredge up old news?”
Well, for starters, because he’s not leaving. Unlike his predecessors who usually leave the capital city and (usually) gracefully settle into the annals of history, he’s sticking around Washington D.C. (Yes, yes, I know he’s still got a kid in school.) Politically, he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. As the aforementioned Bill Whalen put it, his farewell speech “wasn’t so much ‘farewell’ as ‘to be continued’.”
Perhaps even more important than Barack Obama’s continued influence on the country, however, is realizing that Barack Obama’s impact on the office—his “anti -Midas touch” if you will—impacts future presidencies in perpetuity.
As I once told a liberal friend, “Be careful what you applaud in this president; you might regret it in the next guy.”
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show (TheBlaze Radio Network, Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. ET). She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree