Sunday, June 06, 2010

President Daddy?

These are scenes from a country whose citizens have been taught from birth that both the state and its leader exist to look after and provide for them. Their reaction to Kim Il Sung's death is therefore understandable, as he was akin to a family member, benefactor and protector all rolled into one:

Gene Healy, meanwhile, relates the following excerpt from a recent NPR show:

One thing I want to make clear where Bob and I strongly really agree is that — when FDR died the funeral procession moved up Pennsylvania avenue and a man, a grieving man, fell to his knees, and another man helped him to his feet and said, “Did you know the President?”

And the grieving man said, “No, but he knew me.”

And Barack Obama is not yet at a point where the American people really feel like he knows them and their problems and that’s where he needs to get to.

The notion that a nation of free individuals needs a politician to serve as some kind of national father figure to look after them is deeply depressing. It's undignified and represents the infantilization of a populace. The degree to which people turn to our President to address every issue, large and small, which impacts their life is a good indication of how much statism has taken root in this country.

Related: Check out Healy's article on the cult of the presidency.

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