W, Obama, and the Cult of the Presidency

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Anthony Gregory’s excellent review of “W.” demonstrates what happens when we create a personality cult of the U.S. Presidency — and other high offices as well. However, at least with Bush, some people waited until he actually had taken office.

Today, we are seeing a Cult of Personality of Barack Obama even before he is in office (and I believe he will be elected in a landslide). I see the creepy videos of children singing Obama’s praises with their well-to-do parents beaming in the way that my wife and I were beaming when our three young children recited the entire Children’s Catechism. (Lest anyone think it was a rogue operation, the entire thing was paid for with NBC money and even was posted on Obama’s site until people started raising issues about it. Mao would have loved to have had such a media organization behind him.)

By the time he takes office in January, he is going to be praised and worshiped in a way that even FDR could not have imagined. I am old enough to remember JFK and his presidency, and while the media helped to create the cult of Camelot, at least they waited until the guy actually was in the White House.

By the way, I doubt that Oliver Stone will do a critical movie of Obama. If he does anything, look for it to be as worshipful as the video of the singing children. Stone has no problem with the cult of the presidency; he just wants someone in that office that he can worship.

6:34 am on October 27, 2008