The Omnipresent President

Our President Obama seems most unique to me in the manner in which he conducts his office. Most American presidents have struck me as guys living and working in the White House, appearing once in a while to go to Camp David or maybe to visit a personal ranch to cut brush as Ronald Reagan was reported doing. Some, like Eisenhower, played golf. Every four years, they became visible for a short time, campaigning. Between campaigns, we didn’t see them a lot though of course, their names were regularly in the news. Or as with some of President Kennedy’s activities, regularly not in the news. Barack Obama is very different. He is the news.

He’s the Presidential pioneer, seems to me, of a U.S. model of governance by permanent campaigning to the masses, a campaign model that relies heavily upon propaganda disseminated via all the news, mass and social media available. And he is the first in a very long time to have a majority of the purveyors of public news heavily committed to him and to his programs. He’s accused of failing to lead; that’s hard to understand when he’s on camera yelling: “Charge!” or demonizing the GOP or selling some new spending at what seems like every time one turns on a TV or sees a news video. It’s amazing that one human being can appear so often, in so many places; one wonders if perhaps, he is actually several men who look alike; that would explain the need for his many teleprompters as well as his extraordinary mobility.

His governance model’s heavy reliance on propaganda and personal appearances channels a historical precedent; it developed first along with the availability of radio, telegraph, telephone and news services. Combining all into a tool of political management was a notable accomplishment of another political leader and the brilliant PhD. who managed the program. You may see their history-making story here: Nazi Propaganda will show you what occurred in 1930’s Germany and is now in use in 21st century America, bigger and better than ever.

This use of an expanded older communication model in a new time and place does not say that the President hates Jews, uses stormtroopers to execute his enemies (we know he prefers drones for that) or is planning to disarm the citizens to ease transition to a police state. What he intends is probably, just marketing his programs in the modern manner. But as so often with things involving our governors, some consequences may not be intended but occur anyway, too often to our detriment. And there seems to me, one such consequence in President Obama’s gigantic omnipresence.

Our Founders’ democracy relied upon knowledgeable citizens engaged in public discourse and debate; they protected that with the Constitution. That process is weakened and can be drowned in a flood of Obama news, Obama headlines and Obama appearances, a flood that never ends and in our era of fifteen-second sound bites, leaves little room for other, ‘less important’ information. An omnipresent governor can build momentum that swamps too much else. There is of course, a risk in this; people can tire of faces they see too often. To date, the President has appeared to manage that successfully by linking many of his appearances with important events that seem to justify them. He has increased his power and so far, seems able to push Congress into playing defense.

Where it goes from here, we will have to see; there is now talk of a third term. That will require a Constitutional amendment of course, or as some on the Left now advocate, abandonment of the Constitution. For now, neither seems likely. But the government is using too much of our communications to manipulate the masses for my comfort, and the Presidential face is too much seen, reminding of the faces of Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler that were plastered everywhere. We need the return of a more humble, democratic model of governors who realize they are human-sized and only men, just like the rest of us. With that, we might see the return of mannered public debate instead of having to rely on The Prez plus people shouting at each other in short sound bites on TV. You may decide for yourself; I’d like to see that.

Categories: Barack Obama, First Amendment Rights, Founding Fathers, Leadership, Liberal Media, Politics, Technology

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7 replies

  1. The enemy of any dictatorship , no matter where , or when , who , or which party banner name or flag , they march under is freedom , protected by any Constitution that protects the Holy rights of the Citizenry .

  2. Lots of truth in there, Jack. Leni Riefenstal would have loved this guy. Still we’ll see, hopefully, eventually enough will be too much.

  3. It may be true that the New Left is using the media to gain and hold political advantages through an expanded political propaganda machine, ala Joseph Goebbels. However, the bargain cannot be made unless government takes over the media as Goebbels and Hitler did to vilify Jews and impure, non Aryan Germans, or unless the press/news networks/agencies voluntarily capitulate to push fact and truth aside and replace them with logical fallacies, outright lies and distortions, straw men and red herrings for political favor.

    And while some thing sources such as Twitter and Facebook can be effective in countering this propaganda machine; in my view, just the opposite is true. Most news comes to most people in the form of hand-me-down information or sound bites. Twitter is no more than a sound bite and because of its limitations, it actually discourages meaningful dialogue unless it can get people to seek blog or other news articles that address the drivel of the day from our 4th estate with facts capable of holding an technology dependent itinerant reader’s wandering attention span and intellect. Facebook and blogs offer a bit more than Twitter or other messaging services, but not a whole lot considering the target audience.

    Conservatives add to this lost message condition by banding widely divergent extremes to define the term conservative in the most confusing, pragmatic and idiosyncratic manner that sometimes goes beyond any possibility of association with individual rights, property rights and a minimally encumbered free market system; if not one that is purely capitalism – a system that has only existed in theory and never fully in practice.

    Thanks for a very interesting post.

  4. As pointed out, I see the government with the major media lined up behind and the internet as the primary opportunity to countervailing views but neither nowadays used for much reasoned debate in the older style. And I predict (at little risk, I think) that no government will rest until it controls the internet within its territory.

    For me, the free internet is the communications equivalent of the citizens’ guns and likely, more powerful. And also as with guns, the totalitarians will never stop their attacks. Yes, I know I’ve now said it twice; I fear that’s not nearly enough!

  5. Reacting to your notify e-mail: You have a qcuine tree? That’s marvelous! When I was young we had a neighbor who had a qcuine tree and they would give my mother the fruit (in exchange for jelly) and she would make homemade qcuine jelly. (And we would pour freshly made qcuine jelly still liquid and warm on to pancakes.) It is fairly difficult to find qcuine jelly on the shelves in ordinary supermarkets these days.

  6. Isn’t the silence deifenang? Particularly from the members of the Cabinet Resources Committee who have been criticised for being “caught asleep on the job” over Iceland. None of Anthony Finn, Andrew Harper, Lynne Hillan or Matthew Offord have been out to defend Mike Freer.The only ‘full’ support comes from his very close, and recently promoted, chum ‘Nick’


  1. » Why Where You Get Your News and Political Information is Important Let's Get Political in Billerica

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