George Will and Presidential Worship
In the 12 months we have to steel ourselves for the next State of the Union spectacle, let us count the ways that this spawn of democratic Caesarism — presidency worship — has become grotesque.
But the fundamental issue isn’t the gilded State of the Union spectacle per se, instead it’s the presidential worship of one man, Dear Reader. Look up hubris in the dictionary. You’ll see a picture of Barack Obama next to it.
Does Mr. Will think Mitt Romney would get the worship treatment? Did George W. Bush?
Yes, Mr. Romney would have (and Mr. Bush did) imbibe in the tedious spectacle, but no, this event—the SOTU address—is merely one of the more gruesome examples of an Obama-based presidential worship. While Will largely blames the vanity of our past presidents regarding the made-for-television SOTUS spectacle, much of the blame, most of it with our Obama woes, should fall at the feet of the media. The media enables and invests in both the spectacle of political theater and in presidential worship itself.
It works like this: the media is served when it creates a product (often with faux edginess or newness in lieu of talent or uniqueness in lieu of ability) worthy of worship. Think James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, the Beatles, Brad Pitt, and Barack Obama. The media then relentlessly promotes their product. Finally, the media hopes people consume their product, so so speak.
In the case of a media product (think the SOTU, the Oscars, the Grammys, etc.), many end up watching out of habit, lack of better options, actual cluelessness, etc. Although some actually are enthusiastic about the product, that is, a few consumers, it’s largely the media themselves. The provide the circus and the government throws in the bread.
Will also rightly points out that Obama’s SOTU speech was vacuous drivel, built on a foundation of flawed liberal platitudes, well-worn clichés, overripe tripe, and ain’t-gonna-happen and impossibly vague presidential initiatives (that is, executive wishes). But post-election, this seems to go without saying.
The media circuses, the Obama worship, and the government’s redistributionist handouts were enough to tip the scales in favor of the President in the 2012 elections. But what will Broncobama do when the things that can’t continue forever, don’t? He hasn’t shown any skill or disposition towards leadership, governing, or problem solving.
Obama may not be in office to watch the walls crumble and such trying circumstances will challenge even people of wisdom and experience. In the history of humanity, we’ve only had one such man who was up to such a task and he wasn’t a politician…but he was worth of worship.