The Naked Emperor

05 June 2008

Change and Charisma

One of the major slogans for Democratic Nominee Obama is "Change You Can Believe In".

From what I recall, the Chinese character for "change" is a combination of the character for "opportunity" and character for "danger".

And surely any change can be either an opportunity or a danger.

When I look to change, I look for specifics. The more specifics, the greater the opportunity. The less specifics, the greater the danger.

Now when I hear great platitudes from Sen. Obama with little specifics, I start to get nervous.

One of Sen. Obama's great strengths is his charisma.

But my knowledge of the history of charismatic leaders is a bit troubling.

In my lifetime, we've had two fairly charismatic Presidents. Reagan and Clinton.

Reagan still stands the test of time well. Clinton fares far less well. Hell, even half of Democrats have turned their backs on him now, only eight years since he left office.

In European history there have been a few VERY charismatic leader in the last couple of centuries.

Napoleon, Hitler and Mussolini.

What do they all have in common? Someone or something to blame.

The oddest was Reagan. He blamed government, and said we could change that. He believed in US, not the government.

All the others found either internal or external enemies, and decided that government was the solution.

For Clinton, it was the evil rich and corporations who didn't fund him, or the mythical "vast right wing conspiracy". Fortunately he wasn't all that charismatic or effective.

The other three were VERY charismatic and effective.

They took their citizens desire for "change" and desire for government solutions, and enslaved their nations to their will. Notice that all three were freely elected. Also notice that all three became leaders of republics. (And yes, Virginia, America is NOT a democracy, it is a republic) By the end, all three were in charge of brutal dictatorships.

Also notice that the people willingly gave up their liberty for "change". Napoleon, Hitler, and Mussolini used their charisma to get into power. All the evidence of their intentions was there for those who weren't blinded by charisma.

So now, we have a very, very charismatic candidate for the Presidency. And it frightens me.

His followers literally pass out at his events, like he were some rock star.

Listen people, you are not here to worship ANY candidate. You have a job to do. A responsibility entrusted to you by millions of dead heroes who gave their lives for this republic, your liberty and you.

And what is this job?

You are the employer here in a democratic republic. And it's time to decide on a new leader. Would you be star struck if you had to interview job applicants for you business?

If the HR department of your employer swooned and hired the first pretty face they saw, would you want to trust that person?

People it's your responsibility to examine, in detail, each applicant for the job.

Does what they say make sense? What are the details of what they propose to do with the job? What are their accomplishments? Are they credible? Did they pad their resume'? They will be asked to bring on staff. Do they have a good record of being a good judge of character for their associates?

Only when you have researched these things YOURSELF should you decide. Don't take the word of the media, or a neighbor, or co-worker, or person in line at the grocery. And don't take MY word. Only trust yourself.

And only when you have answered the above should you make a decision.

But for me, right now, Obama scares me.

The Naked Emperor


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