On Cults of Personality

Kos writes a timely piece on cults of personality:

when your hero turns out to be not so perfect after all, clinging to that fiction can’t possibly reflect well on you. Understand that these candidates are all human, thus imperfect. Understand that they have free will, thus will do things you will disagree with. And that’s okay. Politics is about weighing the good and the bad and going with the best we have. There is no such thing as “perfect” in this biz.

Feel free to rationalize every stupid thing your candidate does, but don’t expect the rest of us to go along with it. All of the Democrats have done stupid things and smart things. I mean, Chris Dodd announced his candidacy on Don Imus, for chrissakes. And yes, when they do those stupid things, some of us will be right there talking about how stupid those things are.

We’re not Republicans, “carrying water” for their leaders and keeping their mouths shut as they drag the nation into the gutter. And we certainly shouldn’t be like the 24% dead-enders, who still cling to Bush despite all evidence of him being the worst president in our nation’s history.

Hear! Hear!


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    • pico on October 29, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    from Russian author Vasily Rozanov:

    No one is worthy of praise.  Everyone is worthy of compassion.

    That’s a bit more extreme than kos’ formulation – okay, a lot more extreme – but the kernel at the center is the same: people are not idols, and turning them into objects of worship is a necessarily bad enterprise.  But we can maintain a level of respect and dignity even if those leaders fail us from time to time – we can recognize them as human, and fallible, and we have the right to be critical.  That last part, especially: the almost insane protectiveness that people have for their candidates of choice is unhealthy.

    Flip side of that quote is equally true: people aren’t idols, but they aren’t demons, either.  A fuckup over a preacher or a haircut or whatever doesn’t make them “bad” people. 

    Anyway, not repeating anything new here.  Same old, same old.

    I’m ready to retire off the net for a few weeks before and after the primaries.  Too much stress for too little reward.  Then primary night, then weeks of diaries about how the winner is really a horrible person and the loser was America’s only hope, then another week of diaries trashing those diaries, then essays reminding us to be civil, then essays telling us to fuck civility, then meta essays poking fun at the whole process.  I think I’d rather curl up with a good book.  Or twenty.  🙂

    • snud on October 29, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    Of course poor Kos has to put up with all of the “My candidate can beat up your candidate” diaries, ad nauseum, every day. Many of those get rather petty and vindictive.

    Me, I’ll be happy with pretty much anyone  from “our” side who doesn’t appoint the inevitable vacancies that will arise on the Supreme Court during the next administration because we can’t handle any more ‘Cons on the bench or we really are sunk.

    I believe Kos will be on Bill Mahr this coming Friday night, which ought to be interesting!

  1. not the most inspired writing, I must say although I understand the sentiment and agree. Maybe Markos should spend some time reading the words of Ciceros and other great founders and fighters for democracy. Meant as a serious recommendation as he is in a significant position of leadership and his words carry much weight.

  2. And at this point, I have to agree.

    Maybe thats why I am depressed today.

  3. will seal the deal. Can see the news clips now

    • Turkana on October 29, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    very good fp posts, today.

  4. Kos Kops.

    Then he should take a long vacation and bring them all with him.

  5. is all we have.The voices of reality are boring and buried beneath the roar of the crowd. Dodd, Kucinich, Ron Paul, Edwards, Gravel,  all buried. They are nuts all, found unfit. We will instead embrace the rational, the sold as middle, the sellouts as truth, and do not listen to the nuts. Their crazy and refuse to see the danger to us all . 

    • pfiore8 on October 30, 2007 at 1:37 am

    i’m beginning to believe we don’t understand ourselves

    most of us haven’t a clue why we are drawn to someone like Rudy or Hillary. and why Gravel sounds like such a loon.

    i’m beginning to sense that maybe what is happening to us… all of us, is something we can’t stop. not yet. there will be overwhelming hardships and devastation to come.

    it will be up to us, in the turmoil, to stop the runaway train. or not.

    dKos is, as i see it now and the whole “elect a democrat” thing, part of the old ways. the ways that brought us right here to this precipice.

    obama and clinton, both old way thinkers. the republicans? stone age.

    i watch these people, hear them on tv. they act, by their casual demeanors, as though all the ills in this world were dreamt up.

    i don’t know. where. reality is.

    what is real? i’m not as sure now as i used to be.

    cult of personality indeed.

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