From the angry fringe right of America, we sometimes hear confused yelling about how Barack Obama is secretly a Kenyan, or a Muslim,
or an intellectual, or an elitist, or a talented writer and speaker, or a very successful man with a seemingly happy family life, or a rich and powerful leader, or a thoughtful man or even the important fictional space alien, Mr. Spock
-- basically, everything that the rapidly aging and increasingly isolated
Republican voter is not.
This is a tactic that says a lot more about the accuser than the accused, but there's no denying that in Barack Obama, the nation once again has an exceptional, almost otherworldly individual serving as president. And after two solid decades of bumbling Bushes and sleazy Clintons
occupying the White House, the very idea of a president who is better than you is almost too weird to accept.
Yet presidents -- the good ones, at least -- are supposed
to be extraordinary. Even if they came from humble beginnings, the great presidents were great because they transcended the petty squabbles and backstabbing of the political process and managed to do tremendous things, with dignity.
But Obama's actions and personality suggest he is something far more foreign to the common American than a Muslim or a Kenyan. He may actually be a Zen Master, operating on a level so far above regular people that we can only hope to gain a bit of enlightenment from his calm demeanor.
While most Americans have only learned from one master -- the wise green monster muppet "Yoda" in the Star Wars
saga -- they may eventually learn mindfulness, conflict resolution and anger management from our own president of Zen.