At this year’s Emmy Awards, actress Victoria Rowell wore a strapless “Obama” dress. Although internet pollsters voted her worst dressed, President Obama’s celebrity status is disturbing. Cults of Personalities exist almost exclusively under the rule of totalitarianism. Cesar was said to be loved by the people, but Cesar also killed the Roman Republic. Prior to social democracy taking hold, all monarchs were revered as god-like. Traditionally, leaders in democratic societies have more difficulty seizing an entire population’s awe, but with innovations in photography, film, voice recording and mass publications, along with state controlled public education, we see such awe inspiring leaders emerge.
Obama fits the mold of the new leader, coming to power, with new ideas, a promise of hope, during trying and difficult times. I don’t, however, see any real or meaningful change between the old regime and the new. Former President Bush supported a form of corporate welfare by bailing out “too big to fail” companies who succumb to the poison of greed. President Obama has fed that policy on a massive scale. Our civil liberties are under constant attack by the state and many cried foul when Bush signed into law the Patriot Act. Many cheered Obama when he espoused transparency, but then were dumbfound to learn that once in office he now views such infringements as practical and appears ready to renew this assault to our liberty and privacy. No one could hardly disagree Bush was a war mongering President, but are we not sending more and more troops abroad to places like Afghanistan? No, there is only one characteristic that distinguishes Obama from Bush. President Obama is a gifted and eloquent speaker, which makes him all the more dangerous.
We have in this country a false perception of, not only our President, but of our nation. We think of ourselves as the fighter of freedom, the advocates of justice and benefactors to humane civilization. We remember fondly the rallying cries of our revolution for independent from the state of Britain and delude ourselves that we live in a free democratic republic. Freedom may have won the day in 1776, but statist control took root in 1787 in our constitution and the state has grown steadily since that time. The 20th century saw unprecedented growth of a powerful state as the country that we are taught to admire disappeared completely and was replaced with an empire with an emperor.
Criticism, civil disobedience and public skepticism is often the only thing that keeps a modern state from running amok. When the public’s eyes are star struck, atrocities follow such as the “black-shirts” in Sicily, the ovens in Auschwitz and the gulags in Siberia. Because power is corruptive and corrosive, what is once unthinkable becomes surreal.
Now I’m not saying that Obama is a tyrant on par with Mussolini, Hitler, or Stalin, but what I am saying is that if you still have your Obama ‘hope’ or ‘yes we can’ bumper sticker on your car, you’ve probably stopped thinking. If you have hung a portrait of the President in your home, you are clearly not thinking. And in the case Victoria Rowell’s Obama dress, she probably never had an actual thought in the first place.