Friday, November 7, 2008

Thoughts on Obama (Wendy McElroy)

Wendy McElroy has some troubling thoughts on the upcoming reign of the Chosen One:

Two aspects of Obama's impending Presidency are especially troubling: his cultlike appeal, and the possibility of assassination.

First, Obama has the makings of a fine cult leader or, in political terms, a "strong man" leader who inspires almost slavish loyalty and has followers rather than supporters. Even the cynical mainstream media is in a swoon over Obama. Admittedly, having the first black President of the United States is a stirring moment, like the crumbling of the Berlin Wall...only this particular wall was racism. Admittedly, he is an extraordinary orator and it is easy to get into a heady emotional flow as you listen to his rhetoric...which usually has little real content, BTW.

The strong man leader -- or populist dictator -- is a key ingredient in most forms of totalitarian government, from Hitler and Mussolini (fascism) to Stalin and Castro (communism). Note: I am not trying to smear Obama by a glib reference to Hitler. I am making one comparison only; both are strong man leaders which is the prerequisite of becoming a populist dictator. Another prerequisite (or extremely helpful circumstance) is a crisis, especially an economic or military one. Arguably America has both. In crisis, people become fearful and they want to believe in a leader who will save them They want it desperately and will tolerate the total surrender of liberty to a plausible savior.

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