Monday, September 14, 2015

The Deification Of Political Figures

     I’d been musing over the remarkable tendency of otherwise sensible Americans to imbue politicians with powers beyond those of us mortals when I stumbled into this video:

     Watch it, both for the example of political deification it provides and for the risibility it elicits from Ott, Green, and Whittle. The former will probably amuse many of my Gentle Readers just as it amused the worthies of Trifecta.

     I’m here to argue that your reaction should be quite the reverse.


     Not many persons will remember the details of the 1992 presidential campaign, apart from the infamous Gennifer Flowers affair and Bill Clinton’s problem with “bimbo eruptions.” Those tidbits were entertaining – given what happened during his tenure in the White House, we certainly should have paid more attention to them – but they struck me as far less important than something I noticed during the campaign.

     The presidency of Bush the Elder had left a substantial number of Americans, including many fairly called “Reagan Democrats,” wondering about Bush’s tendency to renege on his commitments and promises. That alone might have been enough to give Clinton the electoral edge. What went largely unnoticed was the Left’s tendency to elevate Clinton above the common ruck of Mankind. The paeans to his intellect were unceasing. Despite his paunch, women thought him especially attractive. And who could forget his expressiveness at the lectern? His “I feel your pain” mantra, his many masks of contemplation, compassion, and regret, and his unmatched earnestness went well beyond what George H. W. Bush could pull out of his toolkit. The poor WASP from Kennebunkport was simply outmatched in any contest over pathos.

     But there was still more. Clinton’s weird parasexual appeal, mated to his relative youth for a presidential aspirant, seemed to inspire his allegiants to a quasi-religious devotion to his campaign. I recall distinctly hearing Judy Collins conducting a small choir as it sang “Bill will lead us to the promised land” to the tune of “Michael row the boat ashore,” during a news report on WCBS-AM about the Clinton campaign. While we didn’t hear about women in the audience fainting rapturously during his stump speeches as we did with Obama, there was no denying the readiness of his supporters to attribute superhuman qualities to him.

     Bill Clinton’s tenure in the Oval Office was saved from being the utter disaster it might have been by the 1994 Republican takeover of both Houses of Congress. That unexpected turn of events kept Clintonian statism, deeply established in both Bill and Hillary, from running rampant over the nation. Whatever those who backed him on Election Day believed about his prowess, there were enough voters, suitably distributed, to check his vanity and the open power-lust of his wife. Indeed, the effectiveness of the Republican Congresses he had to endure was his greatest asset. They might even be ultimately responsible for his re-election.

     That Clinton’s supporters raised him to demigod status is even more apparent in retrospect than it was during his rise. Consider how much her ever more tenuous association with him has done for Hillary’s presidential prospects. Were she any other former First Lady, she’d never have been considered for the job.


     At this point it should be clear to any moderately observant American that they who supported Barack Hussein Obama for the presidency, and who continue to defend his every word and deed today, regard him as superhuman, incapable of making a mistake. Given the wreckage his tenure has left strewn over America’s economy, society, and international standing, Obama’s time in the White House has been inarguably an objective disaster, from which the nation will recover slowly if at all. But a confirmed Obamite will have none of that. Their Man stands above all merely temporal standards. He is not to be judged by the likes of us petty groundlings obsessed with unemployment and underemployment, the decline of the dollar, the feminization and ongoing hollowing-out of the armed forces, the effectively open southern border, and the advance of Islamism and its inevitable concomitant, terrorism, across the entire globe. Did you not know that gods are not to be judged by mortal men?

     The consequences of Obama’s deification will not be known in full for some time, but we already know enough to be certain that the last line on his statement of account will be written in red. But that’s not the end of this story. The desire for a Godlike Leader figure has infected the Right. Millions of Americans to the right of center politically now hope for a conservative counterpoint to Obama, whom they expect to repair the rents in our national fabric by sheer force of will. That their attention currently focuses on outsider candidates such as Donald Trump and Ben Carson says only that they’ve despaired of finding such a figure inside the political class as it stands; it does not mitigate the hazards attached to the readiness to venerate, if not worship, the product of the Republican primary process.

     This is a tendency that has birthed many a dictator. It must be checked -- now, before it can fasten upon us an un-term-limited president who, in our current albatross's words, "believe[s] my own bullshit." Beware.

2 comments:

  1. Francis, I don't see that the Right has adopted a "Godlike Leader figure" in the persona of Donald Trump; in fact most of the Right, the establishment Right that is, is still floundering about trying to find someone, anyone! who is NOT Donald Trump for them to continue business as usual. That business includes shafting any and all actual conservatives, as they are anathema to the GOPe, and selling out any principles that anyone may still have. The GOPe is part and parcel of the elites' Uniparty; makes no difference in the end whether Hillary or Jeb wins, the result will be the same. Neither head, R or D, of the Uniparty will do anything at all to restore the Constitution or the Rule of Law, or to rein in the powermad Supreme Court of Supreme Beings. (Substitute anyone but Ted Cruz for Jeb, they are all beholden to the GOPe and the result will be the same; Cruz is also cordially hated by the GOPe, that's why so many vote splitters are 'running.')

    All conservatives that I respect, and those that I read in blogs, are finding in Trump the weapon to destroy the GOPe. Certainly he is not being venerated! Personally, I will vote for Trump; if the GOPe and their dirty tricks departments manage to derail Trump, then my vote will go to either a write-in or 3rd party candidate, as I will no longer ever support the poisonous machine that the GOPe has become. Boehner and McConnell are traitors, every bit as much as Obama or Clinton, and they all richly deserve to be hanged by the neck until they are dead, in public! But as we know, they will become "elder statesmen" and collect more ill-gotten millions from the sheeple instead of the justice they deserve.

    I mourned the loss of my country long ago. Now I'm seeking revenge, as the United States of America will never again regain its greatness. There are far too many people who hated this country, and they have infiltrated every institution that we have; they have succeeded in poisoning our schools, our military, they are everywhere in our bureaucracies, even in our churches. The level of insanity is easily measured: look at Obama's popularity even now. Our country is dead!

    So it may be a Hail Mary pass, but as I see it, Donald Trump is the only candidate worth supporting. Not because he wants or deserves to be immortalized as a god, but because he is the ONLY candidate who is serious about stopping the slide into 3rd world status! So Donald Trump, flawed and human as he is, is still the only candidate worth a bucket of warm spit. Find me another, who is better, and I would support him; but I hear crickets.

    For info on the GOPe roadmap I recommend: http://theconservativetreehouse.com/

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  2. I agree with Eskyman. Trump is popular only because he is saying things the rest of the pack refuse to say, even if one or two of them might actually agree. Trumps vanity is a different order altogether from Obama's total narcissism, and I seriously doubt that anyone - including those of us who may see him as a "last hope" - idolizes or deifies him.

    The Zebra was elected because of being (half) "black", and because many folks didn't realize that his lies about "transparency", ending political "business as usual", and helping to establish a "post-racial" America were Newspeak, 180 degrees out from what he seemed to be saying he would do. I agree that _he_ was deified, with songs about him sung in our elementary schools, and people going along with calling him "The One", as if he were the Second Coming, the Messiah. Considering how completely - and Constitutionally - he was ineligible for the office he was elected to fill, how obvious it should have been that he and his faux wife hated America, it is absolutely mind-bending that he could have been elected. Of course, the control the Left has over the mechanisms of elections, voting, and vote counting may have put him in office and allowed him to be re-elected.

    I have pretty much given up hope for a return to what America was and stood for, as recently as during the Reagan administration, but if it is to occur, if the GOPe is to be reigned in or (be still my heart) dismantled and replaced by Tea Party type legislators, it is going to have to happen thanks to someone willing to be forceful enough to override such as Boehner and McConnell. I'm not even sure Cruz could pull that off. I believe Trump's popularity is strictly due to his stated willingness to reverse the direction our country has taken over the last seven+ years. Although he may well require the assistance of a Supreme Being to accomplish such a Herculean task. The stables of government need the same kind of cleaning.

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