From the very beginning, American presidents have been somewhat patriarchal -- not in the sense of a monarch, of course but more like a strong, caring, reliable dad who sees the best in us, inspires us, rallies us and above all, defends and protects our national family.
That's what the best dads do. That's what we've come to expect from them.
But what if we had a dad who always noticed our faults? What if he was repeatedly critical? What if he kept pointing it out to others whenever he thought we did something wrong?
Instead of challenging us to aspire to our highest goals, what if he constantly warned us and attempted to lower our aspirations? What if he pushed us to pull back instead of leaping forward?
What would it be like if we had a father who at times appeared to be arrogant and occasionally disdainful toward us?
What if he didn't think we were particularly special or exceptional?
What if he was chilly and somewhat distant and rarely able to even show us that he liked us very much? And all the while, what if he seemed to be spending more time tending to his own needs and his own desires and his own persona than our own?
We'd be (to say the least) quite disappointed, wouldn't we?
And to top it all off, what if this same dad actually apologized for us to others?
We'd begin to question whether or not dad really loved us, wouldn't we?
Well, this is what President Obama has done.
He's never really embraced us; rarely encouraged us; hardly ever recognized nor affirmed the best in us. He's never done this -- not the way Reagan did it; not the way JFK did it; not the way Ike did it; not the way Truman did it; not the way FDR did it; not the way TR did it; not the way Lincoln did it; not the way real presidents have done it. No, he hasn't done that the way presidents who really love their country have done it.
Barack Obama doesn't empower us -- not the way someone who loves you empowers you and inspires you -- indeed, helps you to help yourself so that you grow, achieve and soar. Someone who really loves you takes pride in all that. Instead, Obama seems to want us dependent on him and the all-powerful state that he's determined to construct.
In Barack Obama's view, we should be looking down, not up and back, not forward.
Bottom line: Obama doesn't make us feel good about ourselves in part because he doesn't seem to care very much about us.
So, it's entirely understandable that the question has been posed: "Does he really love us? Does he really love America?"
We have our doubts -- serious doubts.