“I’m Confident”: Language of a Salesman

 

pobamaThe most talked about statement at President Obama’s news conference earlier today was when addressing how the United States would deal with ISIL, he said, “we don’t have a strategy yet”.  Understandably that admission, if it’s the truth, is a disturbing one.  However, it is not what struck me most about his overall statement. What struck me more was his careful placement and use of the word “confident”.

Maybe it’s the salesman in me that made me notice it, but the word confident in some situations is clearly used to get someone off the hook if and when something goes wrong in the future.  Unless I heard wrong he said the following:

“I am confident that as Commander-in-Chief I have the authorities to engage in the actions we are conducting currently.  As our strategy develops we will continue to consult with Congress”.  Why not say “I have the authority” as opposed to saying I am confident.  The word confident is a way out in the event that the authority was improperly used.

Then when stating in a way that would not instill fear in a field mouse let alone a brutal terrorist he said in regard to getting rid of the cancer that is ISIL, “but I’m confident that we can and we will working closely with our allies.” There’s that word confident again.  Doesn’t exactly reverberate with strength and conviction does it?  To be honest Mr. President, with what is at stake here, we need you to be sure, not merely confident.

The word “confident” when used in these contexts are designed to sell something.  If he was trying to sell the American people the belief that he is properly protecting us, I hate to say, I’m just not buying it.  The world needs more than a meek confidence right now from the President of the United States, it needs unwavering certainty and strength.  Without that I am confident we have some very difficult times lying ahead of us.

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