Author’s note: this article was inspired by Aaron Matthews’ penetrating analysis of parallels between Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln. My thanks to Aaron, whose comparisons led me to consider two very disparate icons, Obama and John Wayne.
21st century Progressives admire; some adulate Barack Obama whereas thoughtful Republicans question Obama’s character, ideology and veracity. Even so, 10 striking similarities exist between Barack Obama, and legendary action movie star, John Wayne.
Four dissimilarities follow the 10 similarities.
1. Barack Obama was born in the 20th century to an Anglo-Saxon mother, a citizen of the USA.
John Wayne was born in the 20th century to an Anglo-Saxon mother, a citizen of the USA.
2. Barack Obama had a grandmother who was born in the USA.
John Wayne had a grandmother who was born in the USA.
3. Barack Obama first enrolled at a Los Angeles college, Occidental, a liberal arts college from which he did not graduate.
John Wayne first enrolled at a Los Angeles university, University of Southern California, a leading private research university from which he did not graduate.
4. Barack Obama walks with a swagger.
John Wayne walked with a swagger possibly because of too-tight cowboy boots.
5. Barack Obama never apologizes. He: developed a real-life persona; defends it by sealing college/university transcripts and other selected personal documents.
John Wayne’s on-screen persona: “Never apologize; it’s a sign of weakness!”
6. Barack Obama — without personal military training or service — is Commander In Chief of all U.S. military personnel. He takes credit for killing Osama Bin Laden.
John Wayne – also without personal military training or service – bravely defended the Alamo and won numerous WW II battles, all on the silver screen.
7. Barack Obama is the current reigning “American Idol” winning the U.S. presidency with his 2008 American Idol-type campaign and television portrayals of a candidate with answers to every question and solutions for all problems.
(As President he is often clueless about the same questions and problems.)
John Wayne was an earlier American Idol based on his screen portrayals of larger than life, tough but honest individuals, mostly cowboys.
8. Barack Obama kills “foreign” enemies with remote-controlled drones and U.S. Navy Seals but only kills enemy U.S. citizens outside the U.S.
John Wayne brawled with and dispatched on-screen bad guys with pistols and rifles while firing blank bullets. Reportedly neither humans nor animals were killed during filming of his movies.
9. Both received prestigious awards that “non-members of their fan clubs” thought were undeserved.
o Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize based on his 2008 political campaign speeches. He retained that prize – while “winding down” two wars – and engaging, without Congressional approval, U.S. military assets in Libya.
o Wayne won a Best Actor Oscar as Rooster Cogburn in “True Grit”. Some considered it more of a “Lifetime Achievement Award”.
10. As young men both were gifted athletes:
o Obama was a star basketball player. Unfortunately his athletic career was derailed by a prejudiced coach who: “played favorites”; didn’t like Obama.
o Wayne received a football scholarship to USC. Unfortunately, after two years, an injury ended his athletic career and scholarship.
Dissimilarities between the two are equally striking:
• John Wayne loved the USA and it symbols – including the flag, national anthem, national motto, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
• Obama apparently: despises the USA except for the opportunity to remake it “in his own image”; disrespects Old Glory and the Star Spangled Banner; thinks the national motto is “E Plubrus Unum” rather than “In God We Trust”.
• John Wayne was an iconic figure who embodied the principles of individual responsibility and unlimited opportunity for those willing to sacrifice to achieve it.
• Barack Obama strives to become iconic while embodying the principle of “entitlement” whereby many sectors of U.S. society are victims; entitled to taxpayer funds to compensate for their alleged mistreatment.
o Re reducing the national debt (that increased by $5 trillion on Obama’s watch): cutting entitlement spending is off the table; tax increases are always on the table.
• John Wayne didn’t compromise; whatever he thought right and just was the only possible choice.
• Obama is willing to compromise but, to him, “compromise” consists of his opponent(s) caving in Obama’s original bargaining ploy.
• John Wayne was tough but fair and honest on the silver screen and in person.
• Barack Obama is inflexible, unfair and dishonest both in person and on television