Cult of Personality

November 6, 2008

Watch this Youtube video. You can listen to some music as you read my post!

Of course I was happy when Obama won, and of course I enjoyed and was even a little bit moved by both candidates’ speeches. I was also happy in 2006 when the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series. But on balance, politics based on uniting behind an inspiring leader is something I find profoundly disturbing. This is one of those curmudgeon things. I suspect it’s all basically in good fun, but I can’t help wondering how a citizen in, say, Nazi Germany could know when their respect for their leader had crossed the line.

I watched the election results come in with a group of Obama supporters. After the Obama victory was announced, they decided to take a picture in which they attempted to spell out OBAMA with their bodies. Reasonable people think, “Oh, that’s just a joke, I don’t know that I’d call it disturbing.” But I’m not a reasonable person.

People who opposed Obama are openly scorned. Only one person from the group was “representing a red state,” and she expressed mock-contrition and embarrassment for the fact that she came from a state in which the majority of people didn’t vote for Obama. Or was it real contrition and embarassment? It’s hard for us curmudgeons to tell the difference.

After McCain’s speech, a proposal was made that we go to the White House in order to “say ‘fuck you’ to George Bush.” Peaceful transition is not enough, the old leaders must be driven from our society. My view is probably tained by the fact that I just started reading Anne Applebaum’s Gulag: A History today.

On television, they displayed an image of an American flag onto which someone had superimposed a picture of Barack Obama. I found it vaguely Big Brother-ish.

Realistically, I don’t think any of the foregoing means much, except that Obama is charismatic. But I doubt there have been any non-charismatic dictators.

Don’t pay attention to me. I’ll get over this election eventually. In the end, I’ve got to stand by my libertarian case for Obama, anyway.

How about another video, from The Onion?


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