Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club describes a phenomenon that reminds me of the old saw regarding Democrats falling in love with their candidates while Republicans tend to fall in line with theirs. This was particularly apparent during the last election when John McCain, clearly not a favorite son among many conservatives, never the less was afforded a respectful if not enthusiastic level of support by most Republicans during the campaign. Of course we are all familiar with the school girl like crush that a majority of Democrats had and continue to have on Obama.
My wife and I have a close friend that I like and admire very much. Leaving a rather difficult home life at the age of sixteen and joining the Navy, she rose to the rank of Chief Petty Officer and is well on her way to being one of a handful of women to earn her Master Chief designation before calling it a career. Smart, driven, a single mother of three fine children, I consider her to be one of the most solid and self disciplined people I have ever known. A good Irish Catholic, although not fanatically so, she could be described as a traditionalist and moderately conservative in thought and action. It was a cognitively dissonant moment for me to say the least when during our most recent election cycle she swallowed the hope and change rhetoric of Obama hook, line, and sinker and voted enthusiastically for “The One”. Mind you, this is someone who considers Ronald Reagan to be the greatest President of her lifetime. We have had many intense but always friendly discussions regarding this seeming contradiction and I have pointedly told her that anyone who can consider Reagan a great President and then vote for someone with the political ideology of Barack Obama cannot by definition possess anything that could be called a political philosophy and is voting strictly on the charisma of the individual in question. She will of course vehemently dispute this but I believe it is fairly obvious that she chooses her political representatives in the same manner in which she has selected her two ex husbands and the men she has dated since we have gotten to know her, an arena in which, as she will freely admit, she has a rather poor record of choosing good looking smooth talking guys who invariably turn out to be not quite as advertised at the outset of the relationship.
The lure of a charismatic lover healing all past wrongs and promising to make it all ok again is strong indeed and not just to those on the Left. It is what our current President offered last November and 52% of the people eagerly said “Yes!”, sure that this time it would be different, that he was the one. Discussing policy or political philosophy with these people is futile as they are smitten. Only when the lies start becoming too great to ignore, the betrayals too many, will the smitten realize that again they have been made a fool of. Then you will see anger as we are already starting to witness.
It will be a sad spectacle for our country when Obama fails, as I believe he will, to transform our society into the Leftist Utopia fantasized by the sixties radicals that now inhabit the current administration. Sad not because I wish them to succeed in this transformation, but sad in the way it always is when someone falls hard only to have the love go missing. Will we choose more wisely the next time after what I suspect will be an especially ugly divorce? Like my friend we don’t have a particularly good track record in this regard. Hope springs eternal in the human heart however so I remain, as always, skeptically optimistic.