Child directed personality cult comes to America

Posted in United States | 13-Oct-08 | Author: Judith Apter Klinghoffer| Source: History News Network

No, I am not placing a question mark at the end to the title. There can be no more doubts on the subject and the consequences are sure to be lasting regardless of the outcome of the next elections. There is not two ways about it. We are in the midst of a full fledged pernicious campaign to indoctrinate young children to consider the Democratic party presidential candidate as a universal savior, a Messiah.

First came the creepy video of swooning little girl singing "Obama is going to change it." Then came the paramilitary boys group asserting that their lives are going to change "because of Obama." Obama campaign organized Child rallies can only increase apprehension. Still, on can hope that we are dealing merely with a passing campaign phenomenon.

But books are something else. They last. Here are some excerpts from recent Obama books quoted in Bruce Handy's refers NYT review of them:

“Barack,” a picture book written by Jonah Winter and illustrated by AG Ford, depicts Obama looking off into the distance — at the future? The promised land? Another town hall meeting in Scranton? — against a backdrop of blue sky and a suggestion of heavenly clouds. “Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope,” another picture book, written by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Bryan Collier, features a ghostly adult version of the candidate looming behind his boyhood self, the elder Obama’s hands raised in a preacher’s gesture, light beams emanating from the horizon to suggest we’re at a more churchly incarnation of a Hollywood premiere. Upping the ante, “Yes We Can,” the chapter book, backdrops our hero with a suggestion of both heavenly clouds and light beams — the full Botticelli. . . .

Both books deploy the cadences and strategies of folk tales and religious texts to retell Obama’s life story: . . .

“Barack” notes that the future senator was born “one moonlit night” — I missed that detail in “Dreams From My Father” — while “Barack Obama: Son of Promise, Child of Hope” introduces us to “his mama, white as whipped cream” and “his daddy, black as ink.” Hope becomes a semi-literal character in Grimes’s book, as in “the sight of beggars broke his heart. Barry started to wonder, Will I ever be able to help people like these? Hope hummed deep inside of him. Someday, son. Someday.”

Meanwhile, “Barack” climaxes with an illustration of the candidate in front of the Lincoln Memorial, seemingly in prayer, with a text block about Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and then the following: “And on the horizon, at the dawn of a new age, there appeared a man who would be the embodiment of King’s dream — a presidential candidate whose very being was a bridge that joined nations.”

To obfuscate the matter, the reviewer, Bruce Handy, a self professed Obama supporter adds a review of a child directed book about John McCain written by his daughter. Yet, he has little choice but to admit that the tone of that book is very different. It may skip some warts but that is all. No conclusion could stand in starker contrast to the Obama books than "conservative" Meghan McCain's:

It takes a great man to be president of the United States and I know that nobody will work harder than my dad to convince people that he’s the right person for the job.

Just imagine what Obama authors would have done had they had McCain's life story to work with. Bruce Hardy is either naive or dishonest. In any case, he does his best to downplay the hazard posed by the child directed Obama cult. He merely refers to the books' cultish language as "corny" and professes to worry about their impact merely because it is bound to "disillusion" the children much like a realization that the tooth fairy is unreal:

But back to hope. I’m glad people are inspired by Obama. He inspires me, too. But as has been pointed out in certain quarters, he hasn’t accomplished all that much yet, and the problem with hair-trigger deification — besides being corny — is that politicians are not only flawed, like everyone else, but they also happen to work in a business that enables those flaws. And once your very being has been a bridge that joins nations, it’s all downhill from there. Isn’t the process of growing up already an onrushing series of disillusionments? Must well-intentioned authors add fuel to the fire?

Sorry, Handy, but as a historian and observer of current international affairs, I cannot see such child directed personality cult as a minor annoyance. Personality cults have been and are a hallmark of both right and left dictatorship and terrorists organizations. They were used to turn children against their parents and even become suicide bombers. Nor are children likely to forget them. A Rutgers colleague told me how after a few beers his self professed fellow anti-Nazi German graduate students would forget themselves and begin to sing songs they learned in Nazi youth camps. That was during the early seventies.

That such a poison can be injected into our political discourse with so little national outcry is the best testimony to the complete failure of the mainstream media to protect us from the worst amongst us, yes, the worst! Where are the educators? Where is the national PTA? Where is the outrage?!

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