The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The World Tour — II

As the Obama world tour continues with the Chosen One now speaking before adoring European crowds, I’m left asking myself how an inexperienced politician with no real domestic or international legislative accomplishments and no leadership experience of any kind has achieved the adoration of European and American audiences. Bottom line, people have been overcome with emotion, maybe even love. Logic, facts, inconsistencies just don’t matter. In fact, unpleasant questions are shunted aside as if they simply don’t exist. Even professionals in the MSM are in a swoon, so interested in participated in a historic event (the election of a young, vibrant African American politician) that they have forgotten their role and become cheerleaders.

Melanie Phillips comments from the UK:
What is even more disturbing, however, is that these matters [Obama’s inexperience, lack of accomplishment and unsavory connections] are being brushed aside or ignored – because so many people want desperately to believe in him.

Such a suspension of disbelief calls to mind someone else closer to home: Princess Diana, who also inspired hysterical adoration because she, too, became an icon of idealism — challenging the established order.

A deeply attractive figure, she seemed to embody hope for a better universe by appealing to emotion rather than reason.

Love, as embodied by ‘the queen of people’s hearts’, was held to be the key to a better, kinder, gentler world. There was even a sense that her mere touch was sufficient to heal the afflicted.

It was, of course, all pure fantasy. People had fallen for a carefully spun image which bore little relation to the manipulative and unstable woman who was the real Diana, but which spoke to something deep inside them.

So it is with Obama. Americans’ natural optimism makes them want to believe that, as a black man with a Muslim background (another thing he has cleverly obfuscated), he can heal all wounds, including the U.S.’s history of racism, and bring peace to the world just by being who he is.

They see in his attractiveness a flattering reflection of themselves. He doesn’t embarrass them; he makes them feel proud.

He is not a Texas oilman who can’t string a sentence together: he has oratorical skills to die for.

He is not old, frail and nondescript like McCain, but young, vigorous and attractive. He is, in short, everything they want America — and themselves — to be.

His very incoherence over policy, the fact we don’t know what he really believes in, enables people to project onto him their hopes and desires. He is the perfect fantasy politician. He is America’s very own Princess Obama.

But, of course, the belief that a handsome prince can magic away the troubles of the world is infantile. The idea that there is a new kind of sanitised politics by which problems can be solved without having to make hard choices is a dangerous delusion.

It may be that Obama has overplayed his hand just a bit. It would seem that with all of the positive media coverage of his world tour, Obama’s polling numbers would begin the swamp McCain. They have not.

Maybe (and here I’m indulging in wishful thinking) the MSM will tire of it’s cheerleader role and begin to ask hard questions and then follow-up with even more probing questions when Obama obfuscates so that he can remain all things to all people.

But I doubt it’ll happen. Instead, a significant segment of the electorate will see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. And as a consequence, a man may be elected President based on nothing more than a cult of personality. It’s just a little creepy.