I must admit that I find much to admire in Obama. And I have deep roots in America, including soldiers who fought on both sides of the American Civil War, I do appreciate the historical significance of his election, and it does move me emotionally.
I want to like him. I want to admire him. As Mulder said in the X-Files, “I WANT TO BELIEVE!”
What has always troubled me most of all about Obama, is not him, but the ludicrously serious, kitschy personality cult which has developed around him. And even on that score, the American part of me does understand Obama’s sentimental appeal to emotions which run very deep in the American national character, including mine.
So, one big part of my American side – the emotional, sentimental part – says “I want to believe!” But then another part of my American side remembers how George Washington refused to allow any personality cult to develop around him – he was offered the status of “King” of America, and he refused – because he wanted America to be a real republic, with the Head of State being just a civil servant whose personality was NOT intended to be the locus of any kind of personal loyalty, nor personal admiration.
And I still hope – I think with good reason – that President Obama agrees with me, and I hope he will follow George Washington’s model to refuse and repudiate any personality cults surrounding him. But of course my optimism is very American in that way, as one wag said, “God looks after drunks and fools and the United States of America”. And F Scott Fitzgerald called America the land of “willingness of the heart”, a phrase I love very much.
Well, in light of all the above, I think America in the Obama administration will be better off if Americans develop a sense of HUMOUR about Obama, instead of being so deadly serious and saccharine and emotional about him. And I think a good way to start, is this wonderfully weird, politically neutral music-video: