Obama in a Halo? Adulation of the Leader

By | May 17, 2012 | 4 Comments

Now that President Obama openly supports same-sex marriage, Newsweek declares him “the first gay president,” a statement that is questionable on many levels. But not satisfied, the editors of Newsweek place on its cover a picture of Obama with a rainbow-colored halo. This goes beyond praise and reaches the level of adulation, even adoration and worship.

Nor is this the first time Obama has been depicted with a halo. This has happened multiple times in multiple media. Apparently those in charge of these media have so little self-awareness that they can’t perceive how their actions degrade their magazines, newspapers, and websites to mere propaganda outlets. They see Obama in a pseudo-religious context, so they can’t understand how such undisguised adulation might subject them to ridicule and contempt on the part of those who do not share their liberal beliefs. As narcissists, they assume that everyone should see Obama as they do.

Note that this is not a caricature of Obama in a conservative magazine. Political cartoons and caricatures are as old as newspapers. Liberal cartoonists showed Nixon with heavy jowls and Reagan with more wrinkles than a prune. Conservative cartoonists showed Jimmy Carter with buck teeth and show Barack Obama with huge ears. But this is not a caricature in an opposition publication. On the contrary, it is a favorable depiction in a pro-Obama publication. It is pro-government propaganda of the most brazen, fawning, sycophantic sort.

The editors of Newsweek were not satisfied that ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, and National Public Radio all lean to the left. Nor were they satisfied that virtually all “news” papers from the New York Times to the Los Angeles Times do the same. If it were not for talk radio, the Internet, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, conservative ideas would never be heard in the media. But leftism has a totalitarian urge. The editors were not satisfied. So they turned the cover of Newsweek into a propaganda poster.

Propaganda was raised to an art form by Dr. Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s minister of propaganda and public enlightenment. Goebbels “enlightened” the German public with propaganda such as this:

Goebbels depicted der Führer (the Leader) as a knight in shining armor, leading his troops into battle and holding aloft his swastika flag. But even the Nazi propaganda chief didn’t depict Hitler with a halo, as some sort of saint. Goebbels knew that even in the totalitarian Nazi state, there were still many devout Catholics and Protestants who would be insulted by a depiction of Hitler as a religious figure.

The Soviet Union was also a totalitarian state, and it also had a powerful propaganda bureaucracy. At the height of Stalin’s personality cult, Pravda, the official Communist Party newspaper, mentioned Stalin’s name on just one front page 101 times. Ironically, “Pravda” means “truth.” The Soviet Union was firmly atheist, so Stalin was never represented as a religious figure. Granted, communism might be considered a secular religion. Nevertheless, Stalin was depicted as a powerful leader, but never with a halo:

But now we have reached a new level of adulation of the Leader. Now Newsweek, a formerly respected “news” magazine founded in 1933, sees fit to adorn its cover with a picture of President Obama in a halo.

It was Obama himself who stirred up this outpouring of adulation. Recall his campaign speech in 2008: “I am going to try to be so persuasive, so that those of you who are still wavering…will suddenly come to the conclusion – a light beam will shine through – will light you up – and you will experience an epiphany – I have to vote for Barack!”

A light beam? An epiphany? Really? And recall the school children who were taught to sing hymns to the Leader. This goes beyond education and reaches the level of indoctrination, a term which implies that there are doctrines that must be believed.

But you know what’s really odd? Liberals express deep concern about Mitt Romney’s Mormon beliefs, and even about whether he wears “magic underwear.” But these same liberals are utterly unconcerned when children are taught to sing hymns to the Leader, or when a national magazine depicts him with a halo.

Question: Why is this?

1. For many liberals, liberalism has replaced religion as a belief system.
2. For many liberals, the gay agenda is a litmus test for “correct” beliefs.
3. For many liberals, self-awareness is an unfamiliar concept.
4. For many liberals, how non-liberals will see something is unimportant.
5. For many liberals, conservatives are evil and liberals are good.
6. All of the above.

Answer: 6.

Now here are some other questions, ones that are harder to answer:

● What are we going to do about this situation?

● What are we going to do to assure that our constitutional republic can continue to exist as a free nation?

● What are we going to do to restore political debate to the realm of politics, and to remove it from the realm of pseudo-religion?

● What are we going to do to convince people – especially liberals – that their leaders may be wise or courageous, but they are leaders because they were elected, not anointed.

● What are we going to do to convince people – especially liberals – that those who disagree may be mistaken or ignorant, but they are not heretics to be persecuted.

● What are we going to do to help all Americans renounce fanaticism in politics, just as in years past they renounced it in religion?

● What are we going to do to help all Americans see political opinions as political opinions, not as pseudo-religious dogmas that they must believe to be “saved.”

● What are we going to do to help all Americans look upon political leaders as political leaders, not as pseudo-religious luminaries who can lead them to utopia?

How we answer these questions will determine the future of freedom in this country, and to a large extent the future of freedom in the world. But make no mistake – depicting our president with a halo is a serious matter. Dismissing it as trivial or ludicrous misses the point. If we see the cover of Newsweek, and we merely shrug our shoulders and walk away, we are facilitating and enabling the transformation of our nation into something we will not recognize.

Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.