Idol minds

Odd worship of presidents echoes personality cults of dictatorships

  • Follow Editorials

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.

Comments (66)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
itsanotherday1
34509
Points
itsanotherday1 11/10/12 - 04:18 pm
3
3

" Why can't he be more like

" Why can't he be more like Bush, you know, loathed?"

Because those who despise his politics don't have the power of the press behind them.

burninater
6771
Points
burninater 11/10/12 - 04:25 pm
4
1

"Because those who despise

"Because those who despise his politics don't have the power of the press behind them."
-------
Right. Because the most watched news network is some kind of illusion, AM talk radio a myth, and a massive online presence a hoax. There are no non-liberal media outlets. These are not the droids you're looking for.

burninater
6771
Points
burninater 11/10/12 - 04:29 pm
4
2

In fact, I think a case could

In fact, I think a case could be made that the Right has created SUCH a powerful press and media presence, that it was a major contributing factor to the shock that Romney did not win. That shock would not have existed if a liberal-dominated media created the sole messaging that he wasn't likely to win.

itsanotherday1
34509
Points
itsanotherday1 11/10/12 - 04:44 pm
2
4

Fascism

EEL, fascism and socialism are often used inappropriately, myself included. In fact, tight government control over private business is fascist, not socialist. We tend to use socialist (right or wrong) as a description for a nanny government that wants to provide cradle to grave social support services. Obama is both in that regard.

itsanotherday1
34509
Points
itsanotherday1 11/10/12 - 04:50 pm
4
4

Burn

Fox is the ONLY right leaning major media in this country. Study after study have shown statistically that the right get more negative press than the left, and the left gets the benefit of the doubt more often. The vast majority of media people vote Democrat, so that speaks volumes as well.

How do explain the almost complete lack of coverage of Benghazi by the major media. I watch the big three all the time and they gave the "coverup" angle no time at all. They DON'T WANT the truth if it hurts their guy.

burninater
6771
Points
burninater 11/10/12 - 06:31 pm
4
2

"Fox is the ONLY right

"Fox is the ONLY right leaning major media in this country."

That simply isn't true. Drudge, Rush, Beck, Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, NY Post, American Spectator, Weekly Standard, WorldNetDaily, NewsMax ... that's just off the top of my head.

By numbers of broadcast networks, liberals dominate cable news, that's true. But talk radio is dominated by the Right, and the internet gives all of these other outlets completely equal access online.

Don't get me wrong -- I'm all for the liberal media myth. The more the Right bemoans some imagined absence of conservative media, the less they address the real issues their party faces.

KSL
105366
Points
KSL 11/10/12 - 07:43 pm
3
1

Why do you suppose the right

Why do you suppose the right can control radio media?

Could it be that people on their way to and from work listen, rather than sitting at home, watching TV?

Jake
30304
Points
Jake 11/10/12 - 09:10 pm
1
2

Bush

I like how Bush was high-profile during this past election for Romney. His riveting speech at the RNC was better than Clinton's at the DNC. He is a much sought after speaker and commands huge sums of money to speak. His "Good job Brownie" was a rallying cry and inspiration during this last hurricane.
Where was Palin during this last election? I mean she is the darling of the GOP, no? Why was the GOP holding back with their heavy hitters during the campaign? Was it because Mitt is a Mormon?

carcraft
20584
Points
carcraft 11/10/12 - 09:22 pm
3
1

EEL says details on how Obama

EEL says details on how Obama will deal with the debt are sketchy. Well Obama appointed a debt commission he promptly ignored. Obama has wasted Billions on green energy companies that have gone belly up. Obama said unemployment would not reach 8% if the stimulus was passed well it was passed and we finally (after about 40 months got it down to 7.8% because California left data out of the unemployment figures). Well now unemployment is back up to 7.9%. So if I am skeptical of Obama's sketchy plan do I have a right? EEL could not provide details so there you have it , no details and a record of failures! So even if I watch Fox News does that make my skepticism unfounded?

carcraft
20584
Points
carcraft 11/10/12 - 09:19 pm
2
1

Burninater says "carcraft,

Burninater says "carcraft, regarding your 6:18 post -- the Western oil shale lease closures is a complete non-issue, because there is no, and will be no, oil shale development in the Western states until the technology improves. " Well who knew of all the oil that could be produced from the Bakken oil field by Ham 6 years ago? Did you know about the technology Ham used to develop the Bakken oil fields before Ham did it? Didn't Obama say he had expanded leases? It really shouldn’t' matter if you or I think the oil is recoverable, some guy with a bright idea will prove us wrong just as Ham has proven Obama wrong, so why terminate the lease because it is clear that they understand less about energy than I do because Obama and his administration have wasted billions of tax dollars in "green energy " such as Solyndra when Obama's own budget office told them Solyndra would go broke!

carcraft
20584
Points
carcraft 11/10/12 - 09:42 pm
2
1

We know coal fired electric

We know coal fired electric plants produce 45% of electricity. As Obama raises the price of coal what happens to the price of electricity?

YeCats
8894
Points
YeCats 11/10/12 - 11:01 pm
0
1

CC, kinda like this?

U.S. Senators introduced the BioFuels Security Act in 2006. "It's time for Congress to realize what farmers in America's heartland have known all along - that we have the capacity and ingenuity to decrease our dependence on foreign oil by growing our own fuel," said U.S. Senator for Illinois Barack Obama.

Corn prices have triple since this wonderful legislation was passed. Beef and milk cost alot more. No one thought to tell the government that if we was able to produced gas for 0.99 a gallon, the Middle East would sell theirs for 0.98. And get this, it cost more and is less efficient. No worries, says big G, give 'em more bread and circuses. 16.2 trillions worth.

But, hey cow products are bad for us. The masses have no throttle. Big G knows best. All hail!

burninater
6771
Points
burninater 11/10/12 - 11:05 pm
1
0

I give up Carcraft. You're

I give up Carcraft. You're right. The major petroleum companies are wrong. Why would Shell and ExxonMobil and the American Petroleum Institute know more about oil recovery than carcraft? I'm not sure what I was thinking. O, did you hear? In addition to preventing the production of oil that noone will produce, Obama is further stymying America by outlawing monkey-powered cars made out of jello. If it weren't for Obama, private companies would be making as many monkey-powered jello cars as they would be extracting oil from the Lewis and Mancos shales. He must be stopped!

burninater
6771
Points
burninater 11/10/12 - 11:39 pm
1
1

And let me ask carcraft, when

And let me ask carcraft, when they DID develop a drilling technique that made the Bakken viable in 2008 -- Obama stepped in and blocked production, right? He exercised his socialist dictator powers and pulled the plug, took over the means of production, etc etc

carcraft
20584
Points
carcraft 11/11/12 - 02:02 pm
1
0

burninater-The Obama

burninater-The Obama administration cut permits on federal land dispite his lie saying they didn't! Now if some one wishes to explore on shale land why not issue the lease? The leases are sold by the government and when the guy fails the governmemt has still made money correct?

carcraft
20584
Points
carcraft 11/11/12 - 06:06 pm
1
0

No burinater- Obama isn't

No burinater- Obama isn't stymied by his outlawing monkey powered cars but he is stymied by insisting on battery powered technology that doesn't exist. Your sillines vs technological reality and Obama's foolishness that has cost the American tax billions of dollars!

Back to Top

Top headlines

Augusta pensioners eye benefit increase

With an eye on the millions remaining in the city's oldest pension funds - its 1945 and 1949 plans - a handful of retired city and county employees are reviving a push to increase their monthly ...
Loading...