“He is not the fucking messiah”

April 15, 2008 at 10:45 am | Posted in Barack Obama | 1 Comment
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A much-needed reality-check for Obamabots (or whatever they’re called) from a Clinton supporter:

You have almost succeeded in crowning Obama the nominee. Way to go. But that is just the beginning. And as far as building him up for the general goes, fawning over him and freaking when he’s criticized is not helpful. You need to recognize that he is not the fucking messiah, that the media does not love him more than they love McCain, that you have not seen the tip of the goddamned iceberg when it comes to opponents trying to take him down–and neither has he. You need to recognize that he has a bad habit of saying things that come off badly to a whole lot of people, and you need to figure out some more effective counterattacks than, “But Hillary’s got cooties!” You need to stop exhaling when some gaffe of his “blows over” and understand that nothing has blown over yet, because the GOP hate machine has not even fucking bothered with him yet.

[…]

You want to keep telling me the primary is already over and Obama’s got it in the bag? Great. Then get to thinking about the much more important fight ahead already. And here’s a hint: the question is not just “How do we defeat McCain?” The question is also, “How do we sell Obama?” Quit getting so fucking butthurt every time a fellow Democrat suggests your candidate isn’t perfect, and start asking yourself why they’re saying that and how to argue against their points using Obama’s actual merits instead of just hatred for his opponent.

See, ‘Hope’ does have it’s limits, after all. He’s neither a perfect candidate nor a perfect man. He has disappointed progressives and will disappoint them time and again throughout his campaign and his presidency. Some of his supporters can’t recognise this yet because all the scandals and criticisms are seen through the distorting lens of campaign politics where every critique is attacked as an act of war, regardless of how relevant it may be. Even so, they should be honest with themselves about Obama’s flaws, or else risk suffering an almighty comedown.

In the end, we won’t know until a few years into his first term (if he wins) whether he was worth all the advocacy, activism and adulation. Only hindsight will help us balance his strengths with his flaws, his successes with his failures and assess whether he really did provide a change for the better or offered little more than a messianic personality cult. For now, I still think there’s plenty of reason to hope, but a dose of healthy scepticism would do everyone a world of good.

Photo by Flicker user Justin Shearer (Creative Commons)

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  1. […] rest of this campaign and – if elected – during the course of his Presidency. As others have noted, he is not the Messiah; merely an extraordinarily gifted vote-grabber with some good […]


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