The Osage most certainly does not taste like an orange. Its juice is milky and acrid, and its texture stringy. Once thought poisonous, it is merely distasteful to humans and most other creatures. As a result, virtually all avoid it, despite its superficial attractiveness.
But why am I writing about Osage oranges? This column has never before been dedicated to the culinary arts. The answer lies in the Bible. While I am not a religious man, even I know the Bible contains a great deal of wisdom. One piece of it crossed my mind not long ago.
The saying is familiar: “You will know them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:16). This struck me as an apt warning with regard to Barack Obama and his crowd. Superficially, they are an attractive bunch. Well-spoken and given to lofty aspirations, they can sound like the heralds of a brave new world.
But we have been living with them for nigh on six years, and the fruit of their labors is bitter and noxious. Few as of yet have perished from their works, yet we are in more danger than we once were.
Liberals specialize in promises. They are always telling us about the wonderful protections they intend to deliver. Convinced they are super-compassionate and super-smart, they evidently know best.
The trouble is good intentions are like seeds. Too often we cannot tell what they will grow into until long after they germinate. Unfortunately, the Obama promises have turned out rather like Osage oranges. They have not yet killed many of us, but a steady diet of them might.
The litany of failures has grown too long to be cited every time there is a need to document the incompetence of the current administration. Nonetheless, it includes ObamaCare, the VA scandal, the IRS debacle, the Benghazi affair, a foreign policy from hell and a toxic superciliousness that does not travel well.
What, then, is the point of stating the obvious? By now even Democrats acknowledge that Obama is a poor administrator. Detached and surrounded by yes-men and women, he doesn’t even learn of problems in his own government until he reads about them in the paper.
So my question is: Why has it take us so long to reach these conclusions? After all, it was less than two years ago that we rejected the stability of a Mitt Romney for the razzle-dazzle of Barack Obama. What were we thinking?
Didn’t we have enough evidence that the economy had not recovered? Weren’t there enough straws in the wind to suggest that our international stature was declining? Couldn’t voters see through Democratic assurances that things were getting better?
As to the future, are we going to be in exactly the same position when Hillary Clinton runs for president? When she tells us that she will fix the ObamaCare mess or that under her tutelage, our foreign relations will improve, will we believe her?
Judging from what she has already achieved, there is little reason to give her promises credence. Wasn’t she the one who hatched that reset button with Russia? And didn’t she, in another lifetime, attempt to force HillaryCare down our throats?
As for Benghazi, she tells us she had nothing to do with that fiasco. Other people messed it up. But if so, why wasn’t she involved? Let’s not forget she was in charge. So doesn’t that mean she was as much a hands-off administrator as Obama?
I am beginning to detect the whiff of Osage oranges in the air. Hillary may look good from afar, but do we really want another four years of hyperbole and good intentions?
Melvyn L. Fein, Ph.D., is professor of Sociology at Kennesaw State University.