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The Cult of Obama

Cult

http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2012/06/cult-of-obama.html

The Corporate Cult evolved in the United States as a hybrid of the sales force of the corporation and the religious devotion of the cult. This type of entity might be a cult like Scientology, which used the aggressive and organized sales tactics and marketing campaigns of a corporation, or it could be a corporation like Apple, whose employees earn little, but feel a sense of satisfaction at being part of a meaningful entity.

The Obama Campaign is a fantastic marketing machine. It is constantly discovering new ways to sell things to people. But the problem is that it has no actual product. A company that goes corporate cult uses some of the tactics of a cult to inflate the value of its product. But a cult has no product except the sense of satisfaction that comes from being in the cult. The only things it sells are images of its leader, emblazoned everywhere, his books, speeches and photos, and these are used as tokens of membership in the cult.

In retrospect, the Cult of Obama had much in common with other cults. Like them it recruited young volunteers on campus. Its recruitment materials leaned heavily on books by its beloved leader. It promised them that a new age was coming and that they could be a big part of bringing it about. And its vector of introduction to older viewers was through a woman who has been accused of promoting cults on her popular television show.

Strip away the politics, forget the push and pull of the election issues, wipe the polar identities of the parties from your minds and take a fresh look at the 2008 campaign. Then compare the pitch to any of the major cults in the seventies and eighties. There really isn’t all that much of a difference. They’re all “Transformative” movements that promise to solve society’s problems by using new insights to create a wave of change that begins with “us”.

Even the political angle isn’t new. Jim Jones and his murderous child-abusing cult started out as community organizers for California Democrats, and leading politicians, including saintly hero Harvey Milk, covered for his crimes until the whole thing got too big and Jones got too crazy. Long before Obama, Lyndon LaRouche went the campus cult route and if you are morbidly curious, you can find videos where “LaRouche Youth,” who have broken ties with their families and friends, shout insane slogans while their glazed eyes stare fixedly into the camera.

The pitch is “Transformative” but it isn’t the world that is being transformed, only the participants, and the method of transformation is constant labor and omnipresent awareness of the program. That is where the Cult of Obama’s retention efforts fell through. Successful cults maintain control over a core cadre and use them to expand their base, but projects like Americorps did not come close to meeting those goals.

The corporate part of the Corporate Cult deals with adversity by redoubling the sales pitch. If sales fall, it finds more things to sell. The Obama Campaign is insanely intensifying its sales efforts, without understanding that its sales are falling because the value of the brand is failing. Many cult survivors dropped out during a similar phase when the cult supervisors pressured them to increase sales and recruitment, even as the cult was no longer relevant. When the history of this campaign is written, we will likely discover that the people on the inside were being just as ruthlessly pressured to achieve impossible goals to compensate for the failings of their candidate.

When businesses hysterically deluge you with offerings for their product, it’s a sign of fear. Obama’s campaign rolling out invitations to dinner with him and suggestions that you use your wedding to raise money for him stinks of that same fear. It’s ingenious from a marketing standpoint, but from that same standpoint, it’s also a bad tactic. The last thing that a company or a campaign wants to do is wear people out. But that is exactly what Obama is accomplishing by burning through his base for a short-term cash grab, when what he really needs is to have those people committed to him at the end.

About the Author: Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press.


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10 Responses to “The Cult of Obama”

  1. Charlie Hall says:

    I have never heard President Obama described in cult- like or messiah-like terms by any Democrats, nor seen him described as such by any left-leaning publications or internet sites. It is only right wing pundits such as Sultan Knish who promote this nonexistent cult.

  2. Shlomo Pill says:

    Maybe you haven't seen it, but I can tell you that I am often astounded by the fawning, cultish, obsessive attitudes about the President and his reelection campaign exhibited by ostensibly reasonable and objective law students (with whom I went to school). Not to say that it doesn't happen on the right either; it does. But there is definitely a sense among some intelligent, thinking liberals that the End of Days are neigh, and if only we can all just get behind the President he will make EVERYTHING better.

  3. Charlie Hall says:

    The only cult I see in politics today is the Ron Paul phenomenon.

  4. Charlie multiple posters have been made that position him as a messiah like figure. Next time I see one I will take a photo for you.

  5. Ezzie Goldish says:

    Charlie really? Read tons of pieces, have heard countless people say it.

  6. Shlomo Pill says:

    This is why I try to avoid political affiliations and election campaigns entirely, and confine myself to thinking about policy, law, and politics, in the abstract – politics has the uncanny tendency to blind the most reasonable academic minds to all but that which conforms to their own partisan predisposition. Bias is fine; wearing blinders that prevent you from acknowledging your bias is not.

  7. Mark Pelta says:

    But Shlomo, doesn't your reasoning kinda refute the piece in and of itself? Politics per se is a bit cultish, not as bad as a cult to a niftar gadol whose followers still think he's moshiach say (I speak of course of Rav Reagan), but cultish. What make the cult to Obama different than every other cult?

  8. Shlomo Pill says:

    No difference, really. Dr. Hall's was arguing (like many other partisan Democrats – or partisan Republicans) that while Republican's might be cultish about their chosen political champions, the ever reasonable and fair-minded liberal Democrats are certainly not cultish in their support of the President, and that any allegation that they are is merely a fiction invented by right-wingers intent on discrediting the reelection campaign and its supporters. I was simply pointing out that this is not true – there are cultish Obama-ites, and that the cultists can count among their ranks some of the most reasonable, intelligent, and educated people in the liberal political camp.

  9. Charlie Hall says:

    You certainly don't see anything like cultish following on the major liberal internet sites. Half of dailykos considers Obama to be a Corporatist Right Winger.

    Would you folks who insist that there is a cult please supply some recent links as examples?

  10. Cathlin Hess says:

    You want to talk cult? Fawning over Obama or Romney doesn't warrant the term "cult-like" at all. You want to talk cult? Learn about Mormonism. It isn't just another branch of Christianity (I'm an agnostic, so I've got no alterior motive here), it's based on the teachings of an illiterate criminal, telling of Jesus here in America. They baptize dead Jews. Men are the heads of families – known as "priest-holders," they believe married women can get into heaven (the "Celestial Kingdom") ONLY if their husband pulls them through the veil (same with their secret marriage ceremonies). A woman's duty is to produce as many children as possible for the Holy Father and to increase their numbers. This Obama/Romney cult talk is stupid. Look very carefully at the GOP candidate and his belief system and practices. There's a cult for you. A large cult, but a cult nonetheless.

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