Idol minds

Odd worship of presidents echoes personality cults of dictatorships

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They remade the presidential seal to include his name. They changed the American flag to bear his likeness and his logo. They taught young schoolchildren to sing his praises. They took photos of their hands over their hearts, with adoring messages written on them pledging allegiance to him.

The news media were no less shameless. Newsweek’s Evan Thomas said he was “standing above the country, above – above the world. He’s sort of God.” MSNBC’s Chris Matthews admitted “I felt this thrill going up my leg” after hearing him speak.

He’s been photographed and Photoshopped to have halos on his head. A Newsweek cover depicted him as the Hindu god Shiva – with a headline “God of all things.”

A campaign crowd recently was overheard to chant “Hail Obama!” Voters on Tuesday at a Philadelphia precinct were treated to an iconic mural of him painted on the school’s wall.

This is just some of the unhealthy – and decidedly un-American – idol worship that has gone on over the past four years for President Obama, and which helped him get re-elected.

People like him, certainly; he has an affable persona. But really. This has been just sick. And, in our opinion, it has led people to vote against their own interests.

Hero worship of Democratic presidents is nothing new, of course. Despite numerable peccadilloes, the media built up the Kennedy mystique into a fairy tale they lovingly called “Camelot.” Saturday Night Live, which made its mark mocking Republican President Ford as dumb and clumsy, actually made fun of how smart Democrat Jimmy Carter supposedly was. Then the comedy show supposed that Republican President Ronald Reagan appeared so hapless that it had to be an act.

Bill Clinton was hailed by the media as so hip they referred to him variously as the first black president and Elvis.

But the hero worship surrounding Barack Obama has been nothing short of irrational.

This cult of personality perpetrated by the lapdog media is contrary to everything America stands for. Our forebears risked everything to escape lands where leaders were bowed down to. And the notion of public service in America is just that: these people are supposed to be public servants. Not kings, potentates or gods of all things.

The cultish devotion to a single person is more in line with the kinds of Latin American dictatorships that have long been the bane of this hemisphere. How perilously close America is coming to that model.

We can only hope that Americans’ feet are more on the ground in Mr. Obama’s second term, and that he will be held more accountable for his performance.

We won’t hold our breath, though. The same media that went out of their way to raise him up and shelter him from criticism – and largely ignored the administration’s scandal that got four Americans killed in Libya – has no doubt only been emboldened by their success in getting him re-elected.

Whatever this president does in his second term, the most lasting and lamentable legacy may be the kind of news media he leaves behind.

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fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 11/10/12 - 12:07 am
11
11
Man oh man.
Unpublished

Talk about sour grapes. Perhaps the Chronicle would like a little more cheese with that whine.

scoopdedoop64
2366
Points
scoopdedoop64 11/10/12 - 01:30 am
12
7
The Facts are the Facts

All the Chronicle did was lay out the facts just as they are. A large part of the country has proven themselves to be politically illiterate. Another portion are unable to really think for themselves and should not be allowed to vote because they sell if for a mobile phone. And the media proved that the day of real journalism is over.

faithson
5157
Points
faithson 11/10/12 - 02:43 am
6
9
pot calling the kettle black

Idol minds... as has been reported, those who use Fox network as a primary source for their information, were 'shell shocked' tuesday evening. The incessant push by Fox network was all but, fair and balanced when it came to the election, period. I feel sorry for those 'idol minds' that allow themselves to be manipulated by a partisan network that can only, like the Chronicle Editorial board, find excuses for their incompetence in reporting the facts to the American people on such an important election. Hang in there partisans, these inferior communicators of our political state will be there to tell you exactly what you want to hear to keep you satiated. Some of us 'idol minds' who use a plethora of sources look for information to help us think, not what we want to hear just to make us feel good.

specsta
6505
Points
specsta 11/10/12 - 03:04 am
11
11
Respect and Admiration

Obama is young, handsome and smart. He has helped this country regain respect and admiration worldwide. He is genuinely concerned about the poor and the sick. He is a real man, not afraid to shed a tear in a moment of emotional thanks. He is a devoted husband and father. He has shown millions of minority children that they can become anything they set their mind to be, despite unimaginable odds.

Sounds like a role model to me.

If the "idol minds" of this country can esteem an inconsequential person like "Snooki" or plaster the face of a sports figure all over their bedroom walls, or faint at the sight of some teenage singer, then certainly people can have room for admiration of an upright man like President Obama.

Get over it, Chronicle. Your guy lost.

shrimp for breakfast
5456
Points
shrimp for breakfast 11/10/12 - 03:37 am
10
10
Fae it ACES

YOU LOST!

I can't believe you blamed the voters.
Get over it and support the President. You're part of the problem.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 11/10/12 - 05:53 am
9
9
"A large part of the country

"A large part of the country has proven themselves to be politically illiterate." Faux News viewers, the Tea Party, GOP voters from the old Confederacy, GOP candidates, et al..

We were founded as a "christian" nation.
Obama was born in Kenya.
TARP was passed under Obama.
Saddam Hussein attacked us on 9/11.
Obama is a Muslim.
"evolution and embryology and Big Bang theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of hell."
Death panels.
The stimulus didn't save or create any jobs.
The stimulus didn't include tax cuts.
"If it is a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try and shut that whole thing down."
Climate change is, "It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax."
The Lion King is gay propaganda.
“wind is God’s way of balancing heat.”
"towns and cities with kindergarten had more crime."
Obama's trip to India cost $2 million a day.
All real estate transactions will be subject to a 3.8% Sales Tax.
FEMA is setting up concentration camps.

Just a few examples.

Radwaste
404
Points
Radwaste 11/10/12 - 06:01 am
10
7
Really?

"He has helped this country regain respect and admiration worldwide."

How?

shrimp for breakfast
5456
Points
shrimp for breakfast 11/10/12 - 06:55 am
10
5
Right on Tech fan!!

Don't forget Murdoch saying that if a woman is raped and gets pregnant then it's a blessing from God.
Does this idiot actually believe this B.S.

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 11/10/12 - 07:07 am
6
7
Add Reagan to Mount

Add Reagan to Mount Rushmore.
Replace Grant on $50 with Reagan.
Replace Roosevelt on dime with Reagan.
Ronald Reagan Drive Evans, Ga.
Ronald Reagan Parkway Gwinett County.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Metro Station.
Ronald Reagan Institute of Emergency Medicine Wash. DC
The Ronald Reagan Fundamental School Yuma, Arizona
Ronald Reagan Turnpike Fl.
Ronald Reagan Strategic Defense Initiative Test Site Marshall Islands
USS Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan Elementary School Idaho
Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway Alabama
Covinton Louisiana world's largest statue of Reagan
(Not remotely a complete list)

The topper: Darrell Issa (R) Crazyville. wants to name 3.4 million square miles of ocean after Reagan. It's a good thing Republicans don't have "Idol minds" or we'd live in The United States of Ronald Reagan.

carcraft
25772
Points
carcraft 11/10/12 - 07:07 am
6
6
Shrimp for breakfast America

Shrimp for breakfast America lost. All ready Obama is restricting oil production on federal land. The list of corporations laying off people (over 18,000 got notices as we speak) is just starting up. Companies were waiting to see who would win to decide if to hire, well some companies were waiting to see who would win to decide if to fire. CEO of Darden Enterprises (Olive Garden and Red Lobster) an Obama supporter, is hiring more part time workers to avoid paying benefits like health insurance. The Richmond County government is trying to figure out how to reduce health insurance cost for employees because the rapid rise in premiums is hurting the budget (they have even talked about self-insuring). How long before Richmond County goes to more part time. Many other companies are looking at the part option according to an article I read quoting Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. Candy Crowley saying Obama was correct about Benghazi , then it turned out that Obama was wrong and 60 Minutes sat on the tape that proved Obama was wrong is incredible. I wasn’t shocked because the vote came out with in the margin of error. However that some Republican precinct observers were removed from polling stations and there turned out to be a 99% turn out with about 100% Obama vote will never be discussed in the media! The media in my mind has all the credibility of a bad comic book, I read it with suspended critical thinking knowing it is basically pulp fiction by self-important blow hards! The British Press did a better job covering American politics and Benghazi than our own press did!

carcraft
25772
Points
carcraft 11/10/12 - 07:18 am
8
5
Here is a link to the closure

Here is a link to the closure of the federal land. http://nation.foxnews.com/oil-shale-development/2012/11/09/obama-moves-r... Do you think the lame stream media will call him on his lie during the debates? BWAHAHAHAHA Now I am older, worked hard and have limited my debt and am in pretty good shape so I am going to sit back and watch the economy turn into a train wreck and try to help those hurt. Of course I will use my own money and not government money like good old Biden! It is so easy to be compassionate with federal dollars. The economy is going the same way as Obama's green energy programs. The green energy programs demonstrated that Obama has no grasp of economic reality! Seen the Frisker Nina yet that was supposed to go into production in the US at the end of this year? $600 million in federal funds and the plant is boarded up! Enjoy your sweet victory Obama supporters!

wayne2410
1239
Points
wayne2410 11/10/12 - 08:16 am
0
0
The ACES states the truth
Unpublished

The ACES states the truth here, our press has become more or less a propaganda arm of the administration. The next four years are going to be tragic for many of us, including many of the libs who are jumping up and down with joy right now. I will feel sorry for any conservatives who are hurt by Obama's policies, I will mock any liberal that is harmed, they deserve it.

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 11/10/12 - 08:26 am
7
8
right wing media idols?

I really can't decide whether this piece is more silly or pathetic. fedex227 has it right, "sour grapes." MR and his ACES buddies are simply poor losers trying to convince all the fellow travelers of Fox News, Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Boortz and their ilk that the other side is brainwashed! ACES and the rest of you conservatives ought to be asking yourselves why you were the last to know your guy was going to lose.
You Romney supporters got just plain snookered by the right wing media idols you all worship!

carcraft
25772
Points
carcraft 11/10/12 - 09:03 am
8
4
EEL Gee you are right! Now

EEL Gee you are right! Now explain to what Obama is going to do to deal with all the cans he has kicked down the road? I pointed out the lay offs that have started and that companies are going to part time positions! Every e economic program has failed,so exactly how is Obama getting us out other than taxing the rich?

leawords
84
Points
leawords 11/10/12 - 09:07 am
11
6
So predictable

I have been quietly following these comments for a few years now, and, as so many conservative commentators have pointed out, all I've ever read from the liberal ilk are empty insults ("pathetic," "silly," "sour grapes") with rarely anything factual to back up such assessments. Please tell me, you Obama supporters: what about this editorial is untrue? How is a lamentation of the fact that American mass media is overtly left-leaning "silly" or "pathetic"? You sound like my 18-year-old students who like to write essays full of nothing but blather and little substance. How refreshing it would be to read comments that provide factual evidence and logical rationale in a forum designed for mature, thought-provoking discussion. Oh, but I forget - I live in Obama's America now, where facts are meaningless and feelings are all that matter. What a clear snapshot of the course our country is taking all of you have provided me over the years of my quiet reading. . . .

Techfan
6461
Points
Techfan 11/10/12 - 09:13 am
6
11
You mean you live in the Faux

You mean you live in the Faux News bubble, where facts are meaningless.

justthefacts
21749
Points
justthefacts 11/10/12 - 09:17 am
8
5
leawords

Didn't take long for your post to be justified did it?

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 11/10/12 - 09:22 am
7
6
carcraft

First of all, thank you for acknowledging my point about the right's own media idols and the pernicious role they played in this election. For a long time you have hammered me on almost everything I post. I have to remind myself that not everything the usual conservative posters have to say in this forum is wrong, and I hope from time to time I have said so. Nice to hear that I may have gotten at least one thing right!

Now about your question. I have posted here that I believe the deficit is a critical problem facing the country. I also believe, and know, that raising taxes on the wealthy cannot solve this problem, and probably cannot even come close. While a tax increase on the wealthiest Americans will of course have some deficit implications, my view is a tax increase would be as much symbolic as effective, a nod towards the obscene income disparity in our country. Spending cuts must come, and Obama's remarks since Tuesday have consistently focused on the need for a "balanced" approach to deficit reduction. While details are still sparse, I expect Obama would accept some changes in Medicare and other social welfare programs. I am quite sure he will push for cuts in military spending, cuts which will not be large enough to satisfy me, but helpful. We'll know much more about what he is willing to agree to in the next few weeks. The great thing about a second term is he doesn't have to be constantly looking over his shoulder before agreeing to something.
If he is ever to be viewed as a successful president, he must act now in the best interests of the country, not exclusively the Democratic party.
Same for House Republicans....

effete elitist liberal
3112
Points
effete elitist liberal 11/10/12 - 09:31 am
7
6
leawords' challenge...

QUESTION

"Please tell me, you Obama supporters: what about this editorial is untrue?"

ONE ANSWER

"The cultish devotion to a single person is more in line with the kinds of Latin American dictatorships that have long been the bane of this hemisphere. How perilously close America is coming to that model."

This assertion is in line with other conservative claims that Obama is a socialist or even communist, that he is a Muslim, a crypto terrorist, and many others. Silly and pathetic, nothing more than the usual right wing scare tactics.

leawords
84
Points
leawords 11/10/12 - 09:32 am
11
4
Actually, Techfan,

I don't watch television - at all. I read and get my news from a variety of sources. It doesn't take much, though, to figure out what direction our country is headed. Like I said, I work with young people, and far too many of them are ill-informed and apathetic. I just expect more from adults. But, like I was telling my husband last night, we are reaping the effects of the free-love, hippie-living 60s and 70s, whose cult followers now make up the majority of this country (if elections and polls are evidence). And, yes, I grew up in the 60s and 70s, but was protected from all that depravity by the values I still "cling" to: faith and family. So, yes, I am in a "bubble" - but not one created by popular culture.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 11/10/12 - 12:36 pm
13
3
Some will just never hear

Some will just never hear the truth. All of this is prophecy being fulfilled right before you should you have the eyes to see and ears to hear.

Retired Army
17512
Points
Retired Army 11/10/12 - 09:35 am
7
6
Day Four

Yup! The sky is still up there.

justthefacts
21749
Points
justthefacts 11/10/12 - 09:39 am
9
2
leawoods

At least EEL demostrates that all libs are not the same. Some can actually discuss issues without the use of sophomoric slurs like "faux".

scoopdedoop64
2366
Points
scoopdedoop64 11/10/12 - 09:43 am
6
4
You are right

You are right Willow Bailey. All of this may have taken us by surprise but not God. Jesus might just come back any moment.

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/10/12 - 09:51 am
0
0
If you cannot
Unpublished

win on issues, then just make something up. Being humble in defeat was always a lesson my parents taught me. Hey ACES, how about reading the cadet prayer and try to live those values.

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/10/12 - 09:53 am
0
0
Karl Rove
Unpublished

his comedy routine just keeps getting better. He now says Bronco suppressed the vote by making Americans dislike Romney. No, I kida like Romney but detest the right-wing nuts like Rove,Coulter, Limbaugh, Hannity and etc. They were our best weapon this election, along with Ain and Mourdock.

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/10/12 - 09:58 am
0
0
New Legislation
Unpublished

1. Replace Hail to the "chief" with "Super Brother #1."
2. NBA is now the official national sport
3. Actually Kenya will be the new 51st state
4. Islam national religion, but you can wear jeans to mosque
5. Rove and Trump will be honored as life-time national circus ring-leaders.
6. ACES will be national advisors to policy; just to the opposite of they recommend and the country gets back on track.

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/10/12 - 10:00 am
0
0
"Jesus might come back any moment"
Unpublished

Did he really leave? I thought he was always with us.

shrimp for breakfast
5456
Points
shrimp for breakfast 11/10/12 - 10:04 am
3
6
Jesus coming back

I bet when Jesus comes back the last thing he will want to see is a cross.

Pal
3170
Points
Pal 11/10/12 - 10:10 am
7
2
Praise, Request, Commiserate

@ EEL: Wow! Your 8:22 response to Carcraft is the nicest and most rational piece I've ever seen you post. Your usual responses are mean-spirited and incredibly intolerant, esp. if a poster is a Christian, so this change is quite refreshing. PLEASE keep it up! Who knows? You might even persuade some of them wrong-thinkin' right-wingers!

@ Willow: Please briefly explain your post about prophecy. An explanation would be beneficial to me and others. Thanks in advance!

@ leawords: As one who also teaches young adults, I know exactly how you feel. Hang in there!

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