Why the obsession?

It just blows me away to think that some people have been able to conjure up a cult like following. It happens across the world. These are but a few who can command a stupendous following. Count among them movie stars, spiritual gurus and even politicians.

Every time I see people (mostly on TV) in trance, rocking back and forth to a guru's 'words of wisdom' backed up by music at a spiritual gathering, I wonder how's it possible. How's it possible to cast a spell over a multitude? And if the rules to casting such spells can be articulated, can it then be used in the branding arena?

Someone who's had a multitude hanging on to his every word, in recent times has been Barack Obama. And according to Austin Hill, this is why he could craft such an obsession;

I tend to think that it’s three very important elements which, having been combined together all at the same time, have produced this current obsession. For one, many Americans are genuinely frightened by present economic conditions, and are unnerved about the prospects for their future. The idea that somebody greater than ourselves could take away our pain, remove all the obstacles in our path, and make sure that all our needs are met - - that idea is, apparently, very appealing to many Americans right now.

There is also President Obama’s phenomenal communicative abilities. Sure, many of us would prefer less “teleprompter” and more “candor.” Yet, when the President talks, he makes many Americans “feel” - - feel good about himself and his intentions, and feel bad about his specified objects of wrath (“rich executives,” “torturous interrogation tactics,” “greed on Wall Street,” “George W. Bush” - - you get the idea).

And then there is the stark reality that we live in an era of what I call “historical and Constitutional illiteracy.” Most Americans, I am convinced, know very little about world history or American history, and the lessons entailed therein. Likewise, I’m pretty certain that most Americans have no clue about the Constitutional limits on the powers of the government, and the idea that there should be any limits at all on the Executive Branch is unthinkable.

In many ways, it’s a sad state of affairs. Americans are scared and want their President to be an omniscient, omnipotent savior, and the man we elected knows with certainty that he is that savior.....


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