Are there any liberals out there who are bothered by the Obama personality cult? Are there any who are intellectually honest and will admit that this type of thing is unhealthy in a Democracy no matter what ideology you subscribe to? I believe Reagan was the greatest President of my lifetime (I was a whole 4 years old when he left office) but I understand that he was a flawed human being just like the rest of us. He beat back liberalism (or at least put it on hold for a decade or two) but I've never thought of him as a messiah. He was a politician. A talented politician who subscribed to the same basic ideology that I do, but still a very human politician. While I would be thrilled if a politician could successfully take up the mantle of conservatism as he did, I would never be reduced to a fawning 16 year old female Beatles fan circa 1964.
There seems to be a religious devotion to Obama among many leftists that frightens me not as a conservative, but as an advocate of Democracy. How much power do we want to give him? If you believe he's infallible, I suppose you'd give him as much as you can, whether he wants it or not. I'm sure there must be Democrats who are unsettled by this, especially the secular left who have no place for religion in the public sphere. Or maybe they just believe they are giving the people their opiate. I don't think half the people who voted for Obama actually desire socialism in America, but if they are distracted by emotional attachment, they may not notice what's being done in the name of "change" until one day they wake up and realize that America is now a part of Scandinavia.
Personality cults have a nasty habit of segueing into tyranny. Give one person all political power and ask him to solve all your problems and you end up with a fairly comfortable life -- provided you suspend all independent thought. As long as you believe in him, I suppose you'll believe him when he tells you things are getting better despite your lying eyes. Unfortunately Democracy doesn't work like that, its based on reason, not faith. Conservatives find themselves in this current mess largely because we had faith that George Bush's second term would be markedly different than his first. That Rove and Bush would steer the nation firmly right, despite what our lying eyes saw during the first term. However, Bush was no personality cult. No one deified him. We merely misplaced our trust. We chose to believe that he would act conservatively because we really had no other choice. Who are you going to vote for Kerry? It made the decision more palatable to believe Rove was the genius people said he was and had a secret conservative plan.
Many Obama supporters aren't even that rational. They literally think he will abolish all their anxieties, outlaw their problems with the stroke of a pen. Life doesn't work like that. There is no utopia. There is no Christ-esque messiah save Christ Himself. Does it matter though? Contrary to what many on my side are saying, I don't believe most of Obama's supporters will abandon him when he fails to deliver. I think they've invested too much in him to allow him to fail in their minds. A Judas will be constructed by the masses with the media's help. Most likely a Republican or combination of Republicans. Obama cannot be allowed to fail because a failure of Obama is a failure of his supporters. The human mind doesn't so readily admit that it is that much of a dupe, that much of a fool. This isn't your fault its someone else's. "What do you mean Obama's a failure? Can't you see he's a spectacular success? Can't you see? Don't you have faith?" Its a sad characteristic of humanity that we can so easily bend reality to fit our expectations. A characteristic I fear we'll see more and more of in the future.
Hope can be a very good thing in the proper circumstances. It can see a person through tremendous adversity. But it can just as easily bind them to a failed policy, a failed idea, a failed leader, and when hope fails to bring the change we just knew it would bring, it turns to desperation. I don't claim to know exactly what the future will bring, but I don't think it will be pretty.