Why Obama should not be president
(See the debate that has ensued in this entry between a pro-Obama, anti-Hillary VFR reader and others.)
Watching the “Sixty Minutes” segment on Barack Obama that was broadcast last month, I suddenly realized why he should not be president. It is for the same reason that I have always believed that John F. Kennedy, whatever his special qualities or because of them, should not have been president: Obama is too much of a “star,” a fantasy figure. It is not healthy for a such man to be the president of a democratic republic. Excessive magnetism or charisma are qualities that lead people to “identify” with a leader in an inordinately personal way and place unrealistic expectations on him. Yes, many people adored FDR, but that was more as a father who had rescued the country, not as a man of charisma. Looking at Obama’s tall, slender figure, his preternatural confidence, his easy way with people, his big smile, I’m reminded of John Kennedy. Kennedy also lacked the political substance that qualified him to be president, but became president, to a large degree, because his exceptional personal skills, good looks, and self-confidence; and many who did not support him in 1960 came to feel the Kennedy magic during his presidency or after his death.
The combination of personal and idealistic excitement that Obama generates in his supporters (or, as David Ehrenstein puts it in the Los Angeles Times, the white fantasies he triggers of the “magic negro” who transcends white racial guilt and white fears of black violence and sexuality), means that his primary appeal is to the irrational. He makes people feel that by his very being he will transform the world in some unimaginable way. For such a figure to be president stretches the psychic fabric of society out of shape, leading to a reaction in the opposite direction. When people’s expectations and emotions get raised too much, they tend to be shattered. What I am alluding to, to speak the dread words, is the possibility of Obama’s being assassinated. That would not only be terrible in itself, but, as with the assassination of JFK, the sense of grandiose hopes being tragically and cruelly dashed would lead to a redoubled effort to bring into law the ideals represented by the fallen leader. Kennedy while alive was getting nowhere with his civil rights and immigration bills. After his murder, his successor, aided by the sacralized memory of Kennedy, got both of those revolutionary liberal laws through Congress within two years. Imagine what an orgy of racial compensation would follow the assassination of President Obama.
This article will anger some readers who hope for Obama to stop forever the horror of a Clinton Restoration (indeed it has already angered one reader so much that she says she will not read VFR again) as much as my positive comments about Obama have angered others who believe that I should say nothing to indicate a preference for Obama over Hillary. But, as I said yesterday, I am not beholden to any party line. One of the things blogs exist for is to allow us to pursue interesting thoughts on a subject where they take us. Not every blog entry is a manifesto or a Keynote Address.
A reader writes:
This is irresponsible. It’s like finding fault with the Mensheviks when the Bolsheviks were about to take over. You have responsibility whether you acknowledge it or not, and if the Dragon Lady gets the nomination, you will have contributed to it. Period.Bill Carpenter writes:
It is inconceivable that voters in Democratic primaries will be influenced by Lawrence Auster’s analysis of the candidates.David H. writes:
A reader wrote: “You have responsibility whether you acknowledge it or not, and if the Dragon Lady gets the nomination, you will have contributed to it. Period.”The reader replies:
The respondent who said we don’t have epithet for Obama is naive. We’ve had years and years to get Hillary’s number and the various epithets are appropriate. We barely know Obama. This convinces me that these people are shilling for Hillary. They long for a female president. Or, they really really don’t want a black.David H. replies:
Thank you for posting the “reader’s” reply—honestly I needed a good laugh, it’s been a long day. So I’m “shilling” for a female president—guess that makes me a “feminist” (my God the irony in that is hilarious) and a RACIST!!!!! as well (we really really don’t want a black) . Wow. That didn’t take long.Paul Nachman writes:
Bill Carpenter has the correct response. The accusation of your responsibility reminds me of the friend I lost after the 2000 election. According to him, I was responsible for the outcome in Florida [meaning presumably Bush’s failure to win outright on election day] (and the Buchanan component of that outcome) even thoughThe reader replies:
This is unbiblical thinking. Thought influences things. A single thought can avert a war. Abraham convinced God to save a city if it had ten righteous men within it, and so on.The reader continues:
Better get your boys on this one. Obama is looking too good. Time to tackle him and leave dragon lady standing.The pro-Obama reader writes again:
I finally read this [the original blog entry]. I think it’s rather sick to bring up the possibility of assassination. It’s not that easy to get to the president any more after Ford, Reagan, etc., not to mention JFK. But really, you should forward this to Madame’s campaign. It could be a very good tack for them to take to sink Obama’s possibilities. Highminded concern for him could make her look good. And her flat, unimaginative, unleaderly type qualities could look good since they don’t arouse any particular hope or stir any breast, and since she arouses so little feeling no one would want to harm her, just follow in stupefied boredom. This is a way to make her minuses look like pluses. She should hire you.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 19, 2007 10:19 PM | Send