Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thoughts on Celebrity Candidates

The German pope draws several hunded thousand to an outdoor mass and that's grand because he's the holy bloody padre--grand inquisitor, too. The Obama draws several hundred thousand to a major speech, and he, the man who might become leader of the most powerful nation on the planet and far more significant than the current pope, is dubbed a 'celebrity' by his enfeebled opponent, who appears stuck in his prisoner of war cell--understandable, but we don't want that for president. The 'celebrity' designation is seized upon by the media, who should viscerally hate the pope, as they should hate anyway who would tell them collectively or individually what to believe, think and write, but would rather it appears crawl into that cell with McCain.

It's fair to ask why?

The media and assorted pundits from other fields who sneer at celebrity like fame and fortune just fine--thus their collective fixation on circulation, viewership, and book sales, not to mention public opinion polls--so it's a little hard to swallow the argument that there is something inherently wrong with 'celebrity.' Nor is it the case that Americans somehow have a cultural aversion to popular leaders; rather, Americans tend to surrender too much to them--think George Bush after the megaphone stunt.

But to call the Obama a 'celebrity' is to deny him status as a charismatic, galvanizing leader, which he has the potential to be. He can be a rabble rouser, a joke, or a 'celebrity,' but he can't make the leap that the lesser Hollywood celebrity made to 'leader.' The primary reasons for this perceived--I should say, 'fabricated'-- failure on the Obama's part are intimated to be intellectual, racial, and temperamental. In short: he's too much a soft -boiled brown egghead. Didn't the Obama allow the Clintonoids to highjack his convention, after all? And that gets recycled through the media again and again, making it dificult for the counter voices to be heard.

I say, let them sneer. The Obama who set out on this mad quest seemed to understand that were he to win, he needed numbers, and to get those numbers, he needed an organization. To build such an organizaton in such a short time, he needs to galavanize people who haven't voted and don't vote. He needs to appeal to the vast majority of Americans who embrace the mixing zone that country is rapidly become, who recognize that this country will only reclaim the greatness squandered by the Bushites by welcoming people from all over the world who come here to build their dreams. It's hard to deny, 40 years later, that the Obama can carry the promise of '68--or some of it to power--something the last two, full Baby Boomers, failed so miserably to do.

No comments: