Is Obama running for the office of Chief Shaman?
Is this the day when the Obama campaign jumped the shark? Ask Wikipedia defines it, denotes the point in a TV series at which the characters or plot veer into a ridiculous, out-of-the-ordinary storyline. Shows that have “jumped the shark” are typically deemed to have passed their peak, since they have undergone too many changes to retain their original appeal, and after this point critical fans often sense a noticeable decline in the show’s quality.
“Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Final Primary Night“, St. Paul, MN (3 June 2008) — Ending:
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that
- this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless;
- this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal;
- this was the moment when we ended a war and
- secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.
This was the moment – this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals. Thank you, God Bless you, and may God Bless the United States of America.
Let us hope that Senator Obama is pandering to us, as the alternative might be megalomania.
In children’s stories a Chief Shaman rules his tribe, receiving great respect and rewards. If the rains come, the Gods have shown favor on him and he may rule for another year. If the rains are inadequate then the Gods demand sacrifice…
Future historians might consider it inevitable that early 21st century American would elect as President a megalomaniac. Since WWII we have increasingly considered the President to be Chief Shaman. Every four years we, being stupid, judge him on our economy’s recent performance. If jobs are plentiful and wages good, then we re-elect him or his successor. If not, then we require sacrifice.
This is, of course, a child-like view of the world.
(1) The government does not have the necessary adequate and accurate real-time data necessary to manage the economy. We have economic statistics that are moderately only accurate months or quarters later, after several revisions.
(2) Economic science is still immature, too primitive to manage a large, complex, and rapidly evolving economy. And now one that increasingly embedded in a far larger and poorly understood global economy.
(3) If we had the data and the necessary understanding, I doubt we would have the wisdom to use them wisely. Rather than steering the economy for the benefit of all, it would be navigated for short-term benefit of narrow special interests and politically powerful elites.
Obama’s dreams go far beyond managing the economy. He speaks of social engineering and planetary geo-engineering, sciences that are to economics as economics is to arithmetic. No matter who wins, Senator McCain or Senator Obama, America may be in for a difficult four years. Is this the best we can do — or another demonstration that our political apparatus has broken?
If you are new to this site, please glance at the archives below. You may find answers to your questions in these.
Please share your comments by posting below. Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 words max), civil, and relevant to this post. Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).
For more information from the FM site
To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar. Of esp relevance to this topic:
1. What do blogs do for America?, 26 February 2008 — As our problems reach critical dimensions and our economy sinks into what is (at best) a severe recession, our national leadership will likely move into the hands of someone with astonishingly little capacity to govern.
2. A look at the next phase of the Iraq War: 2009-2012, 1 March 2008 — What is next in Iraq? None of the leading candidates have expressed any intention of leaving Iraq – except in the distant and vague future. McCain intends to fight so long as (or until) we suffer few casualties, then stay for a long time (perhaps a hundred years, as McCain said here and here) ). On the other hand, Obama has been quite explicit…
3. Our metastable Empire, built on a foundation of clay, 3 March 2008 — We can elect leaders with vast ambitions (foreign for McCain, domestic for Obama), but can no longer afford them.
4. How long will all American Presidents be War Presidents?, 21 March 2008 — The Presidential campaign rolls on in the seventh year since 9/11, with the only debate about the Long War being in which nations America should fight. We see this even the speeches of the most “liberal” candidate, Senator Barack Obama.
5. American history changes direction as the baton passes between our political parties, 18 May 2008 – Importance of the November 2008 political landslide.
6. President Obama, an Muslim apostate?, 2 June 2008 — Nope.
7. Is Obama running for the office of Chief Shaman?, 6 June 2008 — Weirdness from our next President.
8. Does America need a charismatic President?, 15 July 2008
9. More about charisma, by Don Vandergriff…(#2 in the “getting ready for Obama” series), 16 July 2008 — About charisma: know it before you buy it!
10. Obama might be the shaman that America needs, 17 July 2008 — At what point does criticism of Obama’s charisma and rhetoric become criticism of leadership itself — and blind faith in technocratic solutions so loved by policy nerds? Michael Knox Beran crosses that line in “Obama, Shaman“, City Journal, Summer 2008.
11. Obama describes the first step to America’s renewal, 8 August 2008 — Obama’s statement about America may be the simple truth; this may be why so many find it disturbing.
12. These days all American Presidents are War Presidents (part 2), 13 September 2008
13. Biden’s gaffes are a threat to American’s complacency!, 13 September 2008
14. The evil of socialism approaches!, 22 October 2008 — Economic crisis … a leftist radical President … Can socialism be avoided, or is it our destined fate?