When I first saw the Time cover depicting then President-elect Obama as the second coming of FDR, my immediate reaction –nausea—was based on the unabashed and absolute adoration that the mainstream media had been heaping on him throughout the campaign. As I thought about it, however, my disgust deepened with the realization at how very clever the spin was–it went much deeper than the top hat, sharp suit and classic convertible. It was Time’s capitalization on the fact that so many Americans are misinformed about FDR and his role in the end of the Great Depression. His domestic policies in that dire situation helped ease some of the pain, but it was America’s participation in WWII that pulled us back from the precipice and heralded in a golden age. For the War, as horrifying as it was, put Americans back to work; the urgency created by a very real threat of world domination by the Nazis brought out the best in American innovation and transformed the U.S. into a global super power in just four years. But many Americans don’t know this; they associate FDR, not with his socialist leanings, but with his charisma and beautifully eloquent wartime speeches that accompanied America’s return to prosperity and victory. And Time capitalized on this ignorance to keep Obama on the pedestal.
I truly believe that Barack Obama would not have been elected had the American voter paid more attention to the implications of what he was saying (and not saying) on the campaign trail, and less attention to the sycophantic “journalists” who abandoned the last shred of impartiality to push their progressive agenda. That was the landscape that made us ripe for that 2008 issue of Time. Now, two years later, the bloom is off the rose and even the media was not able to save Obama from a well-deserved shellacking. But the spin doctors have already come up with an even more nauseating response. They are now comparing Obama to his ideological (and highly successful) antithesis: Ronald Reagan. And there is evidence that many people are swallowing this bunk. http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/01/time-traveling-lib-mag-transforms-obama-from-socialist-fdr-to-conservative-reagan/
And the bunk has gone global. The Council on Foreign Affairs newsletter has published an article entitled The Gorbachev Predicament, in which its author, University of Amsterdam professor Artemy Kalinovsky, compares the leadership style of Barack Obama with that of Mikhail Gorbachev. http://www.foreignaffairs.com/node/67183?cid=nlc-this_week_on_foreignaffairscom-012011-untitled-012011 The two men, he writes, are “conciliatory by nature”. Obama, conciliatory? Until a few months ago, he was focused only on ramming his progressive agenda down everyone’s throat. It was only after he saw his chances for a second term going up in smoke that he showed any willingness to compromise.
But that aside, one might ask how Kalinovsky compares Obama and Gorbachev without drawing parallels between this country and the U.S.S.R. Answer: he doesn’t. “Both Obama and Gorbachev came to power because there was a broad domestic consensus for change, and their initial appeal was based in part on their ability to attract support across the political spectrum.” A broad domestic consensus for change? He is comparing a socialist totalitarian society that had kept people in shackles (ideologically, physically, and financially) for generations, with Americans who were sick of President Bush (whose unpopularity, I might add, had much to do with eight years of negative press by the same media mentioned above). The people of the U.S.S.R. knew what change they wanted: freedom; Americans didn’t know what they wanted, and so they fell for the nebulous “Change You Can Believe In.”
At the end of the article, Kalinovsky grudgingly acknowledges that “Even with all its problems, the U.S. today is not the Soviet Union of 1987.” Really? Thanks for letting us know. Perhaps he should be telling that to his leftist friends, because if they had their way we would soon be waiting in line for toilet paper.
And if I get any more nauseous, I’m going to need a compazine.