The cult of personality

( – promoted by buhdydharma )

..but no philosophical underpinnings.

There is only one thing in common with all people who are dissatisfied with the disenchantment with and criticism of the President.

That is, they think “liberals” criticize the President too much.  Not “conservatives”, no, they are to deal make with and make sweet bipartisan music.

There is only one general agenda item on the list for people who want greater support of Barack Obama and viscerally attack his liberal detractors, and that is to somehow gain greater support for Barack Obama (though, how one gets more support for the President by slapping around those who have doubts, or even attack him, is a mystery) among liberals, or to silence their voiced criticism.

There is no want, no need, no emergency, no evinced specific desire for change or improvement, that is universally and uniformly evinced by the Support Obama Genre.

Except, possibly, compromise as a first principle with any and everyone who wants to make hash out of turtle soup — those people we generally call “conservatives” when principles and not personalities are discussed.  And even that is not universal, since liberals are to be bashed, not compromised with.

That’s what it has become: a genre.  Like science fiction or drama.

And so now, we have a deliberate obfuscation of what the words liberal and conservative mean generally:  To disagree with and attack the President is to either be a radical right winger or a radical left winger, to believe in and support the President is to be a “moderate” or a “good liberal” or a “centrist”.

This is a destruction, a deconstruction, of what those words mean, so now we are disagreeing over the basic definition of words.  But, still, there is no principle that embodies these words.

There are many people who support Obama who otherwise have wants and desires.  It is not to say one cannot support Obama and also be a liberal by the old definition.  That is not the point.  The point is, it appears the sole universal complaint of people who lionize Obama and lash out at his critics — the sole defining thing they all seem to share — is not about principle, is appears to be that to not see Obama is Just and Wise, just as Tom Tomorrow would facetiously write about Bush supporters that Bush was Just and Wise, is unacceptable.

(To endlessly argue whether we agree that President Obama is Just and Wise is not the point of anything.  Or that Obama is a good and decent man, or that he believes in compromise and national reconciliation.  Whether he is or believes any of these things is not my point at all.

My point being, does it matter, in terms of principle of any kind, whether any of this is so?  Is it possible, to maintain moral authority in the absence or vacuousness of principle, and more importantly, what are the tangible results for the average working American in preference to political exigency of “elect Democrats or all is lost”?)

To be even vaguely liberal and to also have a want or desire that is at odds with what the President wants or does, and to criticize the President therby, even if it falls squarely into the reform column, is to put onesself at odds with the President’s supporters, professional or otherwise, and to be attacked, and called, collectively, “the professional left”.

This is not surprising, since philosophical “leftism” is about one thing: a set of principles of specific and postitive change that fall under the general ideology that the needs of the People should be placed above the wants of the powerful.

These include such things as:

1.  Applying the rule of law to the powerful as well as the weak.

2.  Spreading and deepening the civil rights of all Americans.

3.  Refraining from out of control militarism, and reining in that which does exist.

4.  Jobs, health care, and economic justice

5.  Environmental sanity

6.  Energy independence

7.  Making sure our government pays at least as much attention to economic equity as it does military “defense”.

(though there are many other SPECIFIC things liberals in general want and stand for, on principle).

To attack liberalism and liberals as a class is to attack the desire and demand for change in human form — to attack the above listed PRINCIPLES in the persons of those who criticize the President and demand them.  To attack the “professional left” in preference to an expressed desire to work with the professional right is to evince a preference for the status quo.

But, at the same time, it is an attempt to deceive.  This is not about “the professional left” as such.  This is not about the people, it is about the action — the criticism, and the desire to improve.

To posit that the “professional left” is hobbling the President, and is unrealistic and unadult in this criticism, is projection — it is all projection.

What we have is not the professional left, it is more professionalized (whether paid or otherwise) Obama support clashing with people who are not satisfied with what is going on.

To be dissatisfied with the state of affairs and be critical of the president is to be placed in this camp.

So the question is, beyond greater support for Barack Obama, what do people who are unhappy with his criticism WANT?

I don’t see anything, not one thing that is universal among people who express unhappiness with his criticism.

They simply and solely appear to have one wish, to mute criticism and increase support.

One does not have to be a bad man or personally indecent to have a cult of personality develop around one.

But, is it philosophically consistent with liberalism to subscribe to a cult of personality?

What is the philosophical underpinning of Obamaism or professional Obama support as a first cause?  If it is empty, except for the man, is professed liberalism at all consistent with it?  

Obama campaigned on change; it is my opinion that in almost every way he has abandoned that, but even if he didn’t or hadn’t, “change” isn’t a philosophy.  It is not a principle of any kind.

But, by the standards of demanding change, and being frustrated with those who frustrate it, for any reason, by those standards, pretty soon everybody who is not a member of the Tea Party is going to be a member of “the professional left”.


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  1. by the time this administration is over.

    • Edger on September 4, 2010 at 00:08

    somebody else to take their fear away, I think.

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