Melanie recounted to me the gist of a blog post or article she read to me lately that talked about how a hypothetical future American dictator would come in a uniquely American guise. It would not be a Hitler or a Castro or a Stalin, but wrapped in the American flag and convincing the electorate to put him (or her!) in power to solve all our ills, using vague, but reassuring language.
This blog post at the Wall Street Journal’s Best of the Web Today put me in mind of that conversation. It starts talking about a new YouTube video made in homage of Barack Obama.
The video, which you can watch here, depicts people who appear to be in some sort of trance as they mouth along with Obama’s various rhetorical flourishes from his speeches, then repeat the mantra “Yes, we can.” The whole thing has the feel of a cult of personality.
We aren’t the first to make that observation. The other day one Kathleen Geier, who says she voted for Obama and considers him “a good progressive,” took to the liberal TPMCafe site to declare that she is “increasingly weirded out by some of Obama’s supporters”
Then they offer some quotes from the Sacramento Bee:
“He looked at me, and the look in his eyes was worth 1,000 words,” said [Kim] Mack, now a regional field organizer. Obama hugged her and whispered something in her ear—she was so thrilled she doesn’t remember what it was… .
She urged volunteers to hone their own stories of how they came to Obama—something they could compress into 30 seconds on the phone.
That’s religious language, like someone would talk about how they “came to Jesus.” Other liberals are also becoming increasingly wary of the language of their fellow-travelers on the left about the senator from Illinois.
Does this mean that I think Obama is a potential dictator? Not necessarily. I do think that if such a person were to come to power one day, he would be put there by those who are blinded by his rhetoric and whipped into an emotional fervor and blinded by vague calls for “change” and he will have instilled in them the hope that he will fix all their problems with grand promises wrapped in patriotic images of the US Constitution and heroic Americans.