The Best on Barack: Emotion and the culture of narcissism

An article in the left wing Guardian newspaper had this title and subtitle:

Obama is the change that America has tried to hide

Only one candidate offers the radical departure for the 21st century the US needs, for its own sake and the rest of the world’s

The author, Alice Walker, writes:

“I am a supporter of Barack Obama because I believe he is the right person to lead the United States at this time. He offers a rare opportunity for the country and the world to do better. It is a deep sadness to me that many of my feminist white women friends cannot see him, cannot hear the fresh choices toward movement he offers.”

Walker is sad, and to say the least a big fan of Illinois’ junior senator:

“If Obama were in any sense mediocre, he would be forgotten by now. He is, in fact, a remarkable human being, not perfect but humanly stunning, like King was and like Mandela is. He is the change America has been trying desperately and for centuries to hide, ignore, kill. The change it must have if we are to convince the rest of the world that we care about people other than our (white) selves.”

Walker is emotional, but it’s not a woman thing, it’s a liberal thing. Liberals’ entire ideology is based in emotion. Their deep emotion is caused by a deep faith that their policy prescriptions will work. Their deep feelings are more powerful to them than decades of evidence to the contrary.

Women who disagree with Alice Walker, like syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker, attribute some of that emotion and passion to the “religious tenor” of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

“Reports of women weeping and swooning — even of an audience applauding when The One cleared his proboscis (blew his nose for you mortals) — have become frequent events in the heavenly realm of Obi-Wan Obama.

His rhetoric, meanwhile, drips with hints of resurrection, redemption and second comings. ‘We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,’ he said on Super Tuesday night. And his people were glad.

Actually, they were hysterical, the word that best describes what surrounds this young savior and that may be more apt than we imagine. The word is derived from the Greek hystera, or womb. The ancient Greeks considered hysteria a psychoneurosis peculiar to women caused by disturbances of the uterus.”

Parker, being a woman, is allowed to write that.

“So what is the source of this infatuation with Obama? How to explain the hysteria? The religious fervor? The devotion? The weeping and fainting and utter euphoria surrounding a candidate who had the audacity to run for leader of the free world on a platform of mere hope?”

Parker attributes it to—

  • the culture of narcissism,
  • the cult of celebrity, and
  • a secular society that marginalizes fathers.

These symptoms are tied to the decline of the family, Parker wrote, and “the self-absorption of the narcissistic personality” is enamored of rock stars like Obama.

It’s doubtful that any of the young people who pack the auditoriums to hear Obama know much about the radical left-wing approach he would take to solve the nation’s problems. For that matter, thanks to the communications failures of Republicans, they probably don’t know anything about an alternative approach either.

Parker says Obama’s popularity “transcends mere policy or politics”:

“It is hunger, and that hunger is clearly spiritual. Human beings seem to have a yearning for the transcendent—hence thousands of years of religion—but we have lately shied away from traditional approaches and old gods.

Thus, in post-Judeo-Christian America, the sports club is the new church. Global warming is the new religion. Vegetarianism is the new sacrament. Hooking up, the new prayer. Talk therapy, the new witnessing. Tattooing and piercing, the new sacred symbols and rituals.

And apparently, Barack Obama is the new messiah.”

Parker concludes that this is obviously not a “renaissance of reason.” Instead –

“It is more like, well, like whoa.”

Read Parker’s column here.