Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Jesus Christ elected president -- or so it would appear.

I should mention what really scared me about this election. I turned on some broadcast news to supplement what I was reading on-line. That actually helped because I saw the audience at Obama’s victory speech. That scared the shit out of me.

I expected jubilant people applauding, smiling and having a good time. What I saw was a massive crowd of worshippers standing in silent admiration. You would have thought that Jesus Christ had just raised someone from the dead by the looks on their faces. I’ve never seen anything like this outside a church service -- and then it was a rather fanatical church service.

On two different occasions I was in the same room with Nelson Mandela. And while people were all gaga over him, (I’m pretty much immune to such hero worship) none had the look of pure rapture that I saw on the faces of Obama’s worshippers. Had I seen this sort of cult following earlier I might have pulled out some support for McCain, not because old John is any better, but because this sort of cultism is dangerous.

George Bush made such a fuck up of things that he handed the House, the Senate and the Presidency to the Democrats. There are few checks on Obama’s power. In addition Obama is inheriting the Imperial Presidency of Bush. Something needs to check his ambition and his vaunted image of himself. Something needs to stop him from imagining he is able to remake the world, or the nation, by force of law. The Constitution was supposed to do that, but it’s been ignored for decades. With Bush’s precedent before him, with control of the House and the Senate, the only thing that might check Obama is public skepticism about the office of the presidency.

But Obama has a church, not a party. He had campaign workers who seemed to adore him the way that loony Mormons deify (literally) Joseph Smith. Obama natural political tendencies are interventionist. He does believe that he is the supreme nanny sent to set the world right. And that is dangerous. George Bush believed the same thing.

Bush, however, didn’t have the worshipful crowd of adoring followers that Obama has. So Bush just plowed ahead by ignoring the public. Obama will be cheered along by the them because they truly seem to believe he is the miracle worker sent from heaven to remake the world. That sort of vision, combined with the raw, coercive power of the United States governments is a very dangerous combination indeed.

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