Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not a God

The near god-like portrayal and demagoguery of Obama is frightening to say the least. Through brilliant campaigning and careful cultivation of his image, Obama has successfully created a very powerful persona (some credit is of course due to Bush-hatred). For this he has to be commended and studied. There is much to learn from his rise to the top.

The frightening aspect is that the masses have rallied in support of this image, in support of a man that is not a god. Far too many have bought into his persona, putting him to power not so much on his merits and policies, but on this cultivated image and a supposed repudiation of the past eight years. This imparts an unprecedented power on the man- who, if he was not hamstrung by the economy, would have the freedom to march forward with a sweeping agenda.

Such power is disquieting. While from the current perspective it seems unlikely that Obama will abuse his position; and that for all intents and purposes he is well intentioned, however misguided, it is nevertheless alarming to have a relatively thoughtless, impassioned rabble behind him. There are far too many people out there that support Obama based solely on this image- and not on policy.

Fortunately, he will have to disappoint- at least some. His approval ratings will surely fall as he is forced to renege on campaign promises, due to the reality on the ground. Obama is far too smart to not realize that many of his pledges are untenable- not only politically but due to the poor state of the economy. Passing many of his sweeping pledges will be difficult to say the least- a thankful notion to those who do not want to see a complete desecration of our health care systems and the like.

His backsliding (understandably) has already begun, as he tries to prepare the nation for the reality of what a president- any president- would have to do in such conditions. The disappointing fact is that the rhetoric spun during his campaign was far from what needs to be done (and what, it is relatively safe to say, he knew needed to be done). While McCain generally spoke honestly about the future to come- for instance the inevitable loss of jobs in Detroit; Obama painted a picture of change which he will not be able to fulfill. To his credit, Obama has so far done an amazing job in the beginning of his retreat.

However, he will not be able to maintain the aurora forever. Certainly, some will fail to ever see Obama as a man, but will be enthralled by what he represents. These are the most frightening of Americans- driven by base emotion and passions. Others will hopefully judge the President on the merits of his programs- seeing the folly and infeasibility of many of his ideas.

This is the attack that is most essential to take. Going after Obama’s image and his persona is a surefire way to galvanize support around him. ‘Obamanics’ will look at any attack on his facade as an attack on him. Rather, Republicans must challenge the very fundamentals and ideas of his proposed policies. Educate America to see and to understand the reasons why certain policies- although possibly superficially appealing – will ultimately do more harm than good. That is the path back to the White House- through thought out policies and ideas.

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