The Corner

Obamania

Here’s an interesting column from the left side of the aisle on some of the wilder excesses of Obamania:

[T]his sounds more like a cult than a political campaign. The language used here is the language of evangelical Christianity – the Obama volunteers speak of “coming to Obama” in the same way born-again Christians talk about “coming to Jesus.” But he’s not Jesus! He’s not going to magically enable us to transcend the bitter partisanship that is tearing this country apart. And even if he is elected, in no way will that show that somehow we have “gotten beyond” race.

The Obama campaign’s instruction to their volunteers to steer clear of policy questions. How can we truly bring about real political change if the movement the Obama people are building is devoid of ideological content, content merely to mouth gauzy generalities about “coming together” and “yes we can”? Such a movement becomes a cult or personality rather than engine for social justice and political transformation. And personality cults can be a huge turnoff to those who are not already drinking the Kool-Aid.

The author is both correct, and yet not. Preachy, saccharine and infused with resentment, the Obama campaign is, quite clearly, aimed more at the heart than the head. That may not please the more intellectually honest of his supporters, but, judging by the ecstatic response the senator has succeeded in generating among an impressive number of voters, it has been a very, very smart thing to do. It’s much more likely to win over the country than a campaign pushing the details of the fairly conventional left-liberal agenda that would, in all likelihood, be the stuff of an Obama presidency. I’d expect the preachiness, the tent revival frenzy, and, of course, the occasional spasms of pundit glossolalia, to continue.

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