- - Tuesday, February 8, 2011

President Obama has been trying to saddle up next to former President Ronald Reagan to gain political points with the American people. That’s going to put quite the strain on your mystical smoke-and-mirrors machine there, Barry.

Regardless that Mr. Obama claims he is studying the Reagan presidency, know that this is a political smoke screen to try to get Americans to believe he is a centrist. What you really need to know is that in his political heart, Mr. Obama holds Reagan in contempt.

Mr. Obama and other liberals despise everything Reagan stood for and believed in. Liberals do not think government is the problem and not the solution, as Reagan did. Liberals like Mr. Obama think more government is the solution to what ails America.

Because of his tax-cutting, pro-free-market, reform-minded ways, Reagan ushered in one of America’s longest-running economic booms. After a disastrous Carter administration, it truly was morning in America with his steady and resolute hand at the helm. There was a palpable feeling of confidence among Americans during Reagan’s presidency. Americans were proud once again. How I yearn for those days.

Not so much with the Obama administration. Every poll I have read over the past year indicates that Americans are nervous, unsure and think - under the rookie community organizer - that our beloved country has lost its way. It reminds me exactly of how Americans felt during Jimmy Carter’s wimpy tenure.

Main-street Americans do not believe America is respected by the international community; they shake their heads in disbelief that communist China is poised to surpass the U.S. economically and think Mr. Obama has it all wrong - from energy to spending. To be fair, we can’t lay all of our problems on his doorstep, but we can blame him for exacerbating them and creating new and tremendously expensive problems. Things are so bad that there are some Americans who think Mr. Obama is out to destroy America or at to least reduce the country to the equivalent of a Third World country. Sadly, it’s hard to argue with the flow of evidence.

With the exception of bloodsuckers, unions and Fedzillacrats, Americans don’t trust Mr. Obama. In fact, Americans have little trust and confidence that our bloated federal government can get anything right. This lack of trust and confidence by the American people in government and Mr. Obama is his and our biggest problem, and claiming he is studying the Reagan presidency is not going repair his image. The American people are smarter than that.

Once Americans have lost trust and confidence in their president, the president is only marking time. Mr. Carter and former President George H.W. Bush can vouch for that. It is exactly because of a lack of trust and confidence that Mr. Obama will soon join the ranks of other one-term presidents.

Mr. Obama’s most fundamental mistake was believing his own hype and press - that America had given him a mandate to swing the country far to the left. That rookie mistake has been tremendously costly. Claiming to study Reagan is putting a Band-Aid on a gaping political wound.

Politics is as much about the intangibles as the tangibles. Americans need to feel and believe the president is doing what is right for the nation and that he has a vision. Americans need to internalize the vision of the president and make it their own. It is not happening.

Americans want to believe America’s best days are ahead of them. They want to leave America in better shape for their children. Americans believed this was possible under Reagan. They do not believe it with Mr. Obama. Instead of believing in morning in America, many Americans think a dark, cold and foreboding evening has settled in upon America.

Reagan was thus the polar opposite of Mr. Obama. He was a principled statesman who believed in the greatness of the American people and the free market. Mr. Obama is a left-wing ideologue who believes in the greatness of Fedzilla. This has placed him consistently out of step with the American people and will ensure he is a one-term president. Mr. Obama, you are no Ronald Reagan.

Ted Nugent is an American rock ‘n’ roll, sporting and political activist icon. He is the author of “Ted, White and Blue: The Nugent Manifesto” and “God, Guns & Rock ‘N’ Roll” (Regnery Publishing).