My job this morning is to be so persuasive…that a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack.
I can only assume—I can only hope—(and would it be inappropriate to say I can only pray?) that this sentence was delivered in a tone of gentle mockery, showing that he’s able to poke fun at himself, his hype, and those who seem to think he just might be the Second Coming.
Trouble is, I can’t find anyone describing him as speaking in that sort of tone. And if this line was delivered straight, in all seriousness—then be afraid. Be very afraid.
And if it wasn’t a joke, why didn’t the MSM jump all over this when it happened? Can you imagine if Bush or Huckabee had said something similar? Even as a joke?
The word “epiphany” has a specific religious meaning and a more general one:
Epiphany (Greek for “appearance” or “revelation”), is a Christian feast day which celebrates the “shining forth” or revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ…It is also called Theophany (“manifestation of God”), especially by Eastern Christians.
The more general meaning of epiphany is:
A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something; a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization.
If Obama’s statement was made in a serious tone of voice and if questioned on the matter, no doubt Obama would say he was referring to the second meaning rather than the first. But he also is quite aware of the religious aspects of what he is saying. There’s that “beam of light” reference. And, after all, Obama is a Christian and would be expected to know the full religious implications of the word.
But even if we consider only its more general meaning, this represents a telling utterance of Obama’s, and no accident. As time goes on it has become more and more clear that he expects his supporters—he encourages them—to make their decision to vote for him based not on reason, nor a calculation of his actual record in the Senate or elsewhere, but on a sudden flash of intuitive realization.
He is transparent and unashamed in his appeal to emotion; he is aware of its power and his own in that realm, and of his relative weakness in other areas.
This is why I’m beginning to be very alarmed by Obama’s candidacy. All politicians appeal to feeling, of course, and many voting decisions are based at least partly on emotion and “gut.” But in my lifetime I have never seen a politician who concentrates on this aspect and glories in it, encourages it and nurtures it.
To me this seems dangerous. It’s also in line with a trend in the liberal camp previously noted—the celebration of feeling over thinking.
In this regard it’s no surprise that Oprah endorsed Obama over Hillary—the first time she has endorsed any Presidential candidate, by the way. The obvious explanation for the endorsement is that racial considerations were stronger for Oprah than feminist ones, and perhaps that’s true.
But I see it differently. If you listen to what Oprah actually said when asked the reason for her support, she cited her personal relationship with Obama (he is a friend) and her belief in him, rather than a single substantive accomplishment (or demographic characteristic) of the man:
Because I know him personally,” Ms. Winfrey replied. “I think that what he stands for, what he has proven that he can stand for, what he has shown was worth me going out on a limb for—and I haven’t done it in the past because I haven’t felt that anybody, I didn’t know anybody well enough to be able to say, ‘I believe in this person.’”
This was back in May, before the Obama train picked up speed and power. In retrospect, her words were a sign (a Sign?) of the future.
[Note that this post is indexed under both "politics" and "religion."]