America Lite: America's diminished credibility and influence

Barack Obama's inability to make a decision is taking its toll on American credibility around the world. Photo: Our undecisive president Photo:

CHARLOTTEAugust 23, 2013 – There was a time when the United States stood for something and usually responded with action. Today we seem to stand for nothing and only respond with words. We have become the Twitter States of America. We are now America Lite.

One thing the world could always count on while other nations twiddled their thumbs was a reaction from the United States. Our position and posture meant something. Even if it was wrong, the world respected us for that.

SEE RELATED: TAYLOR: Syria’s ‘red line’ adds to Obama’s Egyptian problems

The foreign policy pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other without ever stopping in between. The choice between over-reaction and no reaction is the equivalent of tie in sports where the outcome is unsatisfactory for everyone.

Barack Obama regards himself as cautious. Thoughtful. Introspective. The president believes we can think our way out of global problems and negotiate rationally with cultures that still harbor medieval ideologies. That might be fine in a laboratory under ideal conditions, but it is not practical in a dirty world where negative outside influences can corrupt the data and alter the outcome of the experiment.

Mr. Obama lives in a theoretical world that does not translate to real world violence. What the president considers reflective thought is seen by the rest of the world as indecisiveness. His inability to respond in a timely manner is regarded as ambivalence. Politically correct fence straddling ultimately results in incoherence.

American businesses have been dealing with Obama’s inability to lead the country in a cohesive direction since his first inauguration. Now the international community is dealing with the same inconsistencies and, in an increasingly dangerous world, the bad guys are using it to their advantage.

SEE RELATED: TAYLOR: No easy answers from Egypt

The United States is becoming a eunuch in a global harem.

No individual is capable of dealing with every issue that arises. Given the extent and complexity of the problems in the world today the shear magnitude of keeping up with them is overwhelming much less trying to resolve them.

On the other hand, Barack Obama sold himself on the premise that he had the solutions. He was messianic in his rise to the presidency. Though inexperienced and unvetted by the media, he was perceived as having the academic and worldly credentials that would change everything forever.

We got the change all right, and it may, indeed, be forever. Unfortunately, much of the growing confusion and disorientation today is the result of Obama’s lack of leadership and are, therefore, self-created.

Skilled as he is said to be in the art of oration, it is frequently Mr. Obama’s words that come back to haunt him. “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.” “Red lines in the sand.” “A disgusting YouTube video caused the attacks in Libya.”

For all of his “eloquence” Obama’s words often refute his credibility. The solution? Hop on Air Force One and stubbornly make a speech reinforcing his positions.

Now and then the president will react with some meaningless political gesture intended to extol the virtues of his involvement. So the Republicans are chastised for saying they will defund Obamacare. Or we cancel a meeting with the Russians. We announce we have officially brought charges against the perpetrators of the attack in Benghazi. It’s all about image. Nothing more.

Delay, delay, delay and hope something else will come along to change the story of the day.

One tactic the Obama administration has perfected is political diversion. While the president  supposedly considers all the options of a situation in Egypt or Syria or Yemen, the Secretary of State negotiates the Israeli/Palestinian question.

The problem is certainly real and needs to be addressed, but it has been fermenting for decades and there are more important items to consider at the moment. It is rather like the old adage of going to the airport when your ship is coming in.

No question the United States has, sometimes to its detriment, responded too quickly. But swinging the blade of that pendulum in the other direction may even be more harmful in the long run, not only for the United States, but the world as well.

Our country cannot, and should not, be involved in every situation that arises around the globe, but our presence as a deterrent against evil should always be recognized as a threat to rogue nation. In that regard, our global influence has been greatly diminished by the present administration.

The time has come to stop pretending domestic and international problems do not exist and start doing something about them.

Barack Obama needs to start doing something he hasn’t done in nearly five years….being President of the United States.

Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in CharlotteNCTaylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( which offers tours and travel information for people who share his wanderlust spirit.  

Inquiries for groups can be made at Taylored Media has produced marketing videos for British Rail, Rail Europe, Switzerland Tourism, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council, the Finnish Tourist Board, the Swiss Travel System and Japan Railways Group among others.

As author of The Century Club book, Peabod is now attempting to travel to 100 countries or more during his lifetime. To date he has visited 71 countries. Suggest someplace new for Bob to visit; if you want toknow where he has been, check his list on Facebook. Bob plans to write a sequel to his book when he reaches his goal of 100 countries. He also played professional baseball for four years and was a sportscaster for 14 years at WBTV, the CBS affiliate in Charlotte.

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Bob Taylor

Bob Taylor has been travel writer for more than three decades. Following a career as an award winning sports producer/anchor, Taylor’s media production business produced marketing presentations for Switzerland Tourism, Rail Europe, the Finnish Tourist Board, Japan Railways Group, the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council and the Swiss Travel System among others. He is founder of The Magellan Travel Club ( and his goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.


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