“He’s the Man!” … Oh, Really?

America is about ready to elect a rock star as President. By “rock star” I mean America is about to elect a celebrity–because he’s a celebrity. This is the main reason for Barack Obama’s surprising rise.

Liberals could have done just as well, if not better, with Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, or any of the other Democrats ready to take over in what is almost certainly a Democratic year. People who want to punish George W. Bush can vote for any Democrat. Why Obama? He is very liberal, and is perceived as such. But isn’t that risky, since (according to polls) America is still, on the whole, center-right in its political leanings? Hillary and other Democrats could at least pose as partial moderates, making poor John McCain’s uphill election battle even harder than it is.

Despite these negatives, why does Barack Obama kill the competition in the polls, at least so far? Because he’s a celebrity. Because the media likes him–that is to say, “everybody else likes him, so he must be cool.” Because cool is in, and everything else is out. As with trivial items such as clothing fads and candy, so too now with Presidents. Many Presidents enjoy an element of popularity for this reason when they first run for office and while they’re in office.

There’s nothing wrong with it, if it’s a sideline and not the main substantive course. The unique thing about Obama is that it’s the ONLY reason he’s winning, and the only reason he will win, if he does.

What will be fascinating to watch, and probably quite ugly for the country, is what happens when he does win. Think ahead a year, two or three years from now. What happens if, like Bill Clinton before him, Obama is unable (or even unwilling) to advance the far-left agenda of European and even Soviet-style socialism. What happens if he shows himself, like Jimmy Carter before him, to be completely inexperienced and inept–not to mention appeasing of our most dangerous enemies ever, such as Iran? What happens, in our switch-the-channel culture, if the world does not immediately start to improve on January 21, 2009–to say nothing of become all better by January 19, 2013?

Obama is supposed to “change” and make everything better. He’s cool, he’s the rock star, he’s “the man”, he’s “got your back” … So what happens when he merely extends and reinforces the policies of government that have given us high taxes, a return to inflation, high gas prices and an erosion of liberty? When a normal politician disappoints, you know the scenario. Bill Clinton lost Congress, Jimmy Carter was thrown out of office, and George W. Bush leaves office as a two-term President with record low approval ratings. What happens when someone who never even claimed to have substance–who wasn’t even elected into office for any substance–fails?