There is a cult-like atmosphere around Barack Obama, which his campaign has carefully and successfully fabricated, which concerns me. The messiah complex. Fainting audience members at rallies. Special Obama flags and an Obama presidential seal. A graphic with the portrayal of the globe and Obama's name on it, which adorns everything from Obama's plane to his street literature. Young school children singing songs praising Obama. Teenagers wearing camouflage outfits and marching in military order chanting Obama's name and the professions he is going to open to them. An Obama world tour, culminating in a speech in Berlin where Obama proclaims we are all citizens of the world. I dare say, this is ominous stuff. [...]Do read the whole thing; Levin is identifying something important, here, something which has caused me to worry about an Obama presidency in a way I never really worried about Clinton (though I found his policies deplorable and his person despicable, to say the least).
But beyond the elites and the media, my greatest concern is whether this election will show a majority of the voters susceptible to the appeal of a charismatic demagogue. This may seem a harsh term to some, and no doubt will to Obama supporters, but it is a perfectly appropriate characterization. Obama's entire campaign is built on class warfare and human envy. The "change" he peddles is not new. We've seen it before. It is change that diminishes individual liberty for the soft authoritarianism of socialism. It is a populist appeal that disguises government mandated wealth redistribution as tax cuts for the middle class, falsely blames capitalism for the social policies and government corruption (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) that led to the current turmoil in our financial markets, fuels contempt for commerce and trade by stigmatizing those who run successful small and large businesses, and exploits human imperfection as a justification for a massive expansion of centralized government. Obama's appeal to the middle class is an appeal to the "the proletariat," as an infamous philosopher once described it, about which a mythology has been created. Rather than pursue the American Dream, he insists that the American Dream has arbitrary limits, limits Obama would set for the rest of us — today it's $250,000 for businesses and even less for individuals. If the individual dares to succeed beyond the limits set by Obama, he is punished for he's now officially "rich." The value of his physical and intellectual labor must be confiscated in greater amounts for the good of the proletariat (the middle class). And so it is that the middle class, the birth-child of capitalism, is both celebrated and enslaved — for its own good and the greater good. The "hope" Obama represents, therefore, is not hope at all. It is the misery of his utopianism imposed on the individual.
Bill Clinton was, and seemingly still is, a deeply flawed person whose social liberalism and big-government politics were frequently upsetting to conservatives like me. But I don't recall schoolchildren chanting for Clinton; the media was sympathetic to him but no where near as brazenly partisan in his favor as they are in regards to Obama; and when all was said and done we may not have liked Clinton at all, but we did know who he was and what he stood for (even if some of us would sum those things up as "small-time crooked politician who hit the White House jackpot and carried on like a younger, slightly slimmer Boss Hogg the whole time he was there).
We are one week away from the election, and we still don't know:
-why Obama held dual citizenship (U.S. and Kenyan) until his 21st birthday,
-whether he ever actually practiced the Muslim religion, even as a child (which most of us wouldn't consider a disqualifier, but shouldn't we know?),
-why none of his student records including his senior thesis have ever been released,
-why the only samples of his writing extant before his polished, highly literate first autobiography was published are some extremely bad poems,
-what his involvement with Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers and his wife, Rev. Wright, and other mentors or important figures in his life actually means,
-why he has continually lied about the import of his BAIPA vote, even when records demonstrating the truth have been made public,
-why he so often voted "present" instead of taking a stand on the legislative matters before him,
-what exactly he means by "change," and just how much taxes are going to go up for people whose incomes are between $50,000 and $250,000--because if you believe he intends to keep his promise about lowering taxes...well, that's another topic.
And these are just for starters. And we have a little over a week to go.
I'd appreciate a little feedback from readers who are so inclined: can you think of a single presidential candidate in your lifetime about whom so little was known just a week or so before the election? Because I can remember a few elections, now, and I can't think of anyone who revealed so little about himself but created such an aura of inevitability about his candidacy.
Like Mark Levin says, it's really rather frightening, when you come to think about it.