The Pragmatist and the Messiah

The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline Glick asks whether it would be better to have as president a power-mad pragmatist or a messianic soul-saver.

An excerpt:

…Opponents of Clinton claim that she is a soulless woman who will do whatever is necessary to have power, because she likes power and wants it. But if this is true it is hard to see why a power-hungry president is worse than a president who believes that he is the people’s redeemer. It is hard to see why a leader who wants power because she likes power is less reasonable than a president who thinks he has a right to demand that the American people follow his lead and fix their souls in the name of unity. In the former case, opposition to the leader is a policy dispute. In the latter case, it is apostasy.

When someone wants power for power’s sake, that person tends to be fairly pragmatic. In his first term of office, when former president Bill Clinton – another consummate pragmatist who liked having power – understood his wife’s healthcare plan was about to be defeated overwhelmingly by Congress, he shelved the plan and cut his losses.

A messianic wouldn’t do that. When a messianic leader is faced with failure, his tendency is to castigate the people, or his political opposition, or the media as evil and to continue on unmoved and bring his country down with him. President Woodrow Wilson’s unpopular and unsuccessful championing of US membership in the League of Nations and former president Jimmy Carter’s wooing of American enemies in the name of peace are examples of what happens when messianic redeemer types are confronted with reality.

So with this distinction between the two senators in mind, the question is, how will a President Hillary Clinton or a President Barack Obama respond after being shown that appeasement of the Palestinians has once again failed and that appeasement or deterrence of the Iranian regime has also failed once again? Given their distinct emotional makeup, it can be assumed that Obama will argue that reality is wrong and continue on – Carter-like – into the abyss and drag his country and Israel down with him. Acting in a Clinton-like way, Clinton on the other hand, would be more likely to pick a fight with Serbia – or call for a federal ban on chewing tobacco in a bid to change the subject.

What is most interesting about the danger that Obama constitutes for Israel is how un-unique it is. It is no different than the danger the prospect his presidency constitutes for America. The reason that pseudo-realist Israel bashers [Zbigniew Brzezinski] and messianic peace mongering Israel bashers [Jimmy Carter] support Obama is because they naturally gravitate towards a man on a mission to save the free world from itself.

An empowered, free citizenry will question the realism behind their decision to pretend that the global jihad is the figment of the Jewish lobby’s imagination. A cowed, on its way to being redeemed by Obama’s cult of personality citizenry will be in no position to argue with them.

The same is as true of domestic issues as it is of foreign policy. When the Obama/Clinton tax hikes and economic protectionism exacerbate the current US recession, under an Obama presidency, rather than debating the merits of the administration’s failed economic policies, the American people will be told that they need to have more “discussions” about race to remind them how mean they are and how much they are in need of President Obama’s spiritual healing. If they are again attacked by jihadists, they will be lectured by Rev. Wright’s longtime follower, their president, about how black enslavement, his white grandmother, Israel, anti-abortion senators and their own “cynicism” played a role in convincing the jihadists to kill innocents.

US Jews have always had a weakness for messianic leaders and movements. Sometimes, as in the case of the civil rights movement, that tendency towards utopianism has had good results. More often it has not. In the current presidential race, American Jews, like all their fellow Americans, would be wise to consider if they are truly ready to accept Obama as their savior.

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