Warning – there be Politickin’ and Opinin’ Below…

Disclaimer – I don’t usually write publicly about this sort of thing… and I don’t intend on letting this turn into a politically oriented blog. But I wrote what follows and it’s my blog, so I’m publishing it. If you’d prefer to skip something that might offend your own sensibilities on the subject, feel free not to read on. I’m sure there’s something fascinating over on the front page of Digg right now that will provide more amusement and evoke less passionate responses for most people. But if you read on, be warned that this is my opinion… if you want to air your own, feel free to post it in your own blog and link back telling people how outrageous and off-base I am, but I reserve the right to edit/delete comments on this one.

I’ve been keeping quiet about this to a point… but when I find a piece of journalism that so vividly reflects my own viewpoint – I’m hard-pressed to keep being silent… even when I know it’s going to royally piss off a few people I like and respect.I have a few close friends who know this, but it will come as a surprise to pretty much anyone reading this to know that Obama scares the crap out of me. I know I should probably be drawn to his stated political positions as they’re sort of close to my own… but every time I see him on television, or someone starts raving on about him, my skin crawls and I can’t help but wanting to scream “shut up!!”Why, you ask?Because the only phrase I’ve had to describe his followers and his campaign is one that sends shivers down my spine.

Cult of Personality.

If you don’t know what it means – think Jim Jones… think David Koresh… think Mao Tse-Tung… think Mussolini… Hell, think Hitler. Or look it up on wikipedia or something.

Every time I see the media waxing lyric about the Senator from Illinois – I get the song by In Living Colour stuck in my head. Not so much because I think he’s fostering it – but because it just is.

Just a bit ago, on Nightline, they were airing the first television report I’ve seen that implies that maybe Mr. Obama isn’t as squeaky clean as his fanatical followers would like to believe. I turned to my husband and said “huh, they’re starting this a little early, aren’t they? I thought they would’ve waited until the general election.”

Because I expected that the media’s love affair with O was going to last a little bit longer at least. I figured it would wait until the Republicans were ready to start dismantling the image.

I was wrong.

Terry Moran managed an interesting report – not that I can quote it all to you, it’s not in my DVR buffer any more and it’s television – no transcript to copy & paste. I’m sure the video will be available on-line soon enough. But the Rezko affair was brought up again… as was the fact that Obama’s association with Rezko seems to have netted him a sweet deal on his home in Illinois – to the tune of $300k less than the asking price of the house. Sure, there were as many “he’s a great guy!” testaments as there were “um, not so much…” statements in the report. But it’s the first non-rah-rah piece I’ve seen in prime time news since the Dem race narrowed down to just O and Hill.

But it’s not really the television story that prompted me to write this – or, not in so direct a manner, that is. I had gone to the ABC/Nightline website to see if they had the Moran report up yet – but came across a story labeled “Obama’s Personality Cult.” How could I not click through on that? Of course the ILC tune was already going through my head as I read phrases like:

Sen. Barack Obama’s “true believers” respond as though they’ve spent their whole lives out in the cold, at rally after rally, a few people literally faint at the sight of him. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Los Angeles Times reporter Joel Stein. “People are crying, rending their garments. It’s a cult. But it’s a fun cult.”

A fun cult? Politics isn’t a cult to me. Government should never be a cult. You want to separate church and state? Then get your ‘faith’ and ‘hope’ and ‘sermons from the mount’ out of your politics and start asking the tough questions. Quit telling me “he’ll get us out of Iraq!” ask “How does he plan on getting us out of Iraq?” Quit telling me “he’s for change!” ask “what kind of change? How will he implement it? How does a President make those things happen rather than the Legislature?” Quit telling me “he’s a great speaker!” and start listening to see if there’s substance in the pretty words and stirring speech. Ronald Reagan was a great speaker – did that mean you didn’t have to listen to what he was saying? No.

Drop the idol-worship. If the guy is going to be a good president? Great… but quit pushing him as a Messiah. He isn’t.


~ by Lucretia on February 26, 2008.

7 Responses to “Warning – there be Politickin’ and Opinin’ Below…”

  1. Well, what can i say? You at least have an intelligent and rational reason for your issues with Obama. I just REFUSE to vote for anyone who OPRAH feels the need to get behind. Now how silly is that? I just think that she is the biggest phony going. All of the folks she “loves” are bozo’s. ( dr Phill? I could tell you TRUE tales)
    so here i am stuck with my irrational dislike of him because she goes out and “rah rah ‘s him” . I wont take offense with your opinions if you don’t take offense with mine… :)

  2. I’m right there with you. Even before the news item that you mentioned, I felt like there was something… off about him. His opponents pointed out his foibles in buying his Chicago house and O’s response was to say “that kind of politicking is an example of the OLD politics in Washington, and that’s what I want to change” [sic].

    While it’s commendable to want change, it appears that O’s campaign wants said change at the cost of having the American public ignore the moral implications of his actions that are clearly un-presedential. Unfortunately it goes to prove the personality cult thing all over again when the people swallow something like that —with their eyes happily closed.

    I want change!! I want my leaders to be accountable for their actions and to be honest with the American public! As we watch O dodge questions that relate to his ability to do the job that he’s campaiging so feverishly for, we can just watch the hypocrisy happen with greater regularity. It’s almost like there’s another Dubya running for the Dems.

  3. I suspect however, when faced with a Cult of Personality, anyone that has already subscribed to it will not read much past the first part of this.

    Obama might prove to be the best president this country has ever had – who knows? But his followers and this rabid passionate unthinking surge scares me. Perhaps it’s just that I find the herd mentality terrifying when they start stampeding.

  4. The weekly radio show, “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” called his followers a cult. They got tons of mail from his followers denouncing it. The host told them to lighten up.

    There is a fanaticism associated with his campaign. That is scary. Whenever people become fanatics, it means they’ve gone over a line and will do anything to support their cause. Anything. How is that different from the neo-cons?

  5. @dawn – I actually had someone tell me that they thought a “Cult of Personality” was exactly what this country needed.

    Since when does a country “need” a cult of anything? It seems contradictory to everything that a country that is a democratic republic stands for. We are not conformists, we are individuals who come together for the greater good.

    I think you made a good point about neo-cons and fanatics-be-they-liberals are similar in their blind win-at-all-costs stance.

  6. Excellent thought piece, Lucretia.

    I can understand Americans being swept by Obama’s personality and rhetoric particularly because they feel disgusted with the current situation in the USA including Iraq and a variety of Bush related issues.

    We are living in a society that is very much influenced by media personality. You and I hang around with a very smart crowd that actually digs into issues and thinks through realities. We have to remember that the vast majority of Americans does not. Although Bush may not seem so captivating now that we know him well, I’m sure that many Americans elected him on the same type of gut feel identification with a persona they thought would take care of them.

    I am saddened to see what has happened to Hillary. Our society still has difficulty digesting a strong woman. Personally, I would like see someone stand for separation of church and state. I am really tired of being governed by religious values that have no place in legislation.

  7. Interesting viewpoint.

    I can see how many of Obama’s followers are viewed as cultists. I am a proud Obama follower for sure…but cultist? No way.

    From my viewpoint, he’s the best thing we’ve (Dems) have had in ages and frankly, just about anyone looks way better than GWB.

    Fwiw, I tend to think of HRC followers as cult followers.

    To each their own :-)

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