Before Barack Obama enters a room, the excitement is palpable. Children tremble with anticipation, and grown men start to feel faint. Then, when Obama steps into the auditorium, the building erupts. It’s the second coming of the Jonas Brothers. Pre-pubescent girls shriek, and pubescent girls swoon. Obama is bigger than life. Some people take the obsession even further; they actually think Barack Obama is the literal second coming of Jesus. As I was surfing on the Internet the other day, I came upon a Web site titled: obamamessiah.blogspot.com. At the top of the Web site in bold letters is a statement that reads, “Is Barack Obama the Messiah?” To which the Web site responds with an adamant “yes.” And this tolerant Web site isn’t just for Christians; it names Obama as the new Mahatma (Gandhi) as well.
But is Obama’s messianic reputation deserved? Are all the McCain followers just blind to Obama’s majestic glow of awesomeness? I, for one, think that Barack Obama is grossly overrated – even more overrated than Eli Manning. Last April, Barack Obama came to Philadelphia, and a number of my politically savvy friends went to hear him speak. They all came back deeply in love with Obama, and when I asked them to tell me what Obama had said to win their support, none of them could form a legitimate response besides saying that he is an agent of change. They heard him speak for forty minutes, and they could not give me a substantive answer why they loved him so much; they just did. It’s pretty scary when a man can receive such loyal followers simply due to his eloquence, which seems to disappear when there isn’t a teleprompter in front of him. Never before has anyone gotten such positive feedback for saying nothing. Since he rarely ever says anything of substance, we have no idea what he’s going to do if he becomes president.
Obama claims that he is a champion of the working class man on “Main Street.” He is adamant about the fact that since he had such a disadvantaged upbringing that he can relate better than other politicians to the perils of an impoverished blue-collar family. However, all of Obama’s rhetoric about his difficult childhood is a downright lie.
According to an article by Michael Medved on Townhall.com, Obama’s goat-herder father had a master’s degree from Harvard and then became a very politically connected economist when he returned to Kenya. His “struggling” mother had Ph.D. from Harvard, and those years of financial hardship in Indonesia that Obama is so keen on repeating come from when Mama Obama was doing field research in rural Indonesia for her doctorate. Obama’s apparently downtrodden grandmother was a banking executive in Washington State and in Hawaii. Furthermore, Obama went to school at the Punahou School in Hawaii as a kid, one of the most prestigious and expensive private schools on the Islands. He has absolutely no basis to describe himself as coming from a working class family that had to start from the bottom.
Obama is often referred to as the bearer of change who is destined to bridge the partisan divisions in the Washington. However, it is proven that he has the most liberal voting records in the Senate (even Ted Kennedy is slightly more bipartisan than Obama). There is simply no logic in calling Obama bipartisan.
People finally believe that they have found an honorable and non-dirty politician in Barack Obama. Unfortunately Barack Obama just isn’t that man. When he was first running for Illinois State Senate, Obama was competing against three other candidates. In order to be on the ballot, each candidate needed 2,000 voter signatures. Obama rose to the challenge by dissecting each of his opponents’ signature sheets, reporting that some voters had signed their maiden names, or had used cursive instead of print and as a result, had all three opponents disqualified. Needless to say Obama won his unopposed election, and he has been downhill since then. Even after news that should tarnish Obama’s spotless record comes out, he is still loved just as much. It’s as if people don’t want to believe in all of Obama’s imperfections.
This mad infatuation with Barack Obama has gone too far. It frustrates me when respectable men like MSNBC talk show host Chris Mathews proclaim, “This is bigger than Kennedy. . . . This is the New Testament. I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often. No, seriously. It’s a dramatic event.” When children gather to sing the blatantly untrue song, “We’re gonna Change the World [We’re gonna spread happiness. We’re gonna spread freedom. Obama’s gonna Change it. Obama’s gonna lead ’em . . . ,” it compels me to write an article like this one. America should fear the change that Obama wants to implement because he’s not who he pretends to be. Obama has flaws. In fact Obama has too many flaws, and it’s time people recognize this before it’s too late.
Raphael Menko ’12 is from Philadelphia, Pa. He lives in Armstrong.