Duck! and Gather

All Hail the Messiah Obama (3 of 4): Messiah

Posted on: January 9, 2008

In the previous two postings of this series, I explained why I passionately favor Mr. Obama for U.S president. There isn’t even a second choice. Not just this year — for at least the past 20 years.

But in this posting, I’m going to explain why I don’t much care for Mr. Obama as a man. My personal reservation boils down to my beilef that he is a self-styled messiah.

In short, me, Peter, doesn’t need a messiah. But I firmly believe that this nation does. And I firmly believe that Obama is that messiah.

So in this posting I’m going to explain why I think Obama sees himself as the messiah. But this posting is going to sound like criticism of Obama. And of course, children can’t understand the subtle distinction between criticizing a man qua man, and at the same time, promoting the same man for president.

For you children, perhaps it will help if I say a few words about Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Edwards. First, with Mr. Edwards, I believe that he is a personal fraud who is speaking a poignant national truth. As between a self-styled messiah (Obama) speaking the truth, and a fraud (Edwards) doing the same, my beliefs choose the former for America.

As for Mrs. Clinton, all I can say is that when I woke up this morning and checked the news, my first reaction was: What is wrong is the people of New Hampshire? Are they blind? Moronic beyond hope? Are they incapable of understanding the scourge of Clintonism?

My second thought was: I’m glad the dark avatar otherwise known as Hillary won. This victory will keep it/her in the national spotlight long enough for the nation’s other children to learn from the mistakes of the New Hampshire children. Because if Obama had won New Hampshire yesterday, it/she would have crawled back into the computer which generated it/her, and Clintonism would have died a loathsome death, before even the sleepy children of America could wake up to face the new dawn. And that just wouldn’t do.

OK. The rest of this posting is for the 3 or 4 other people in this country with an academic interest in, and true understanding of, a personality theory known as the Enneagram. To you 3 or 4, it goes without saying that insanity and enlightenment are relatively rare, whereas the vast bulk of our consciousness is spent in the middle of these two extremes. And in that vast middle, people are people, Christ is a myth, we all shit, and our shit stinks.

What is Mr. Obama’s shit? He’s a Seven. As I’ve explained elsewhere, the Enneagram is a theory based on what we find unattractive in others; NOT in what we find attractive.

With Mr. Obama, it’s pretty difficult to find things about him that are personally unattractive. But if he is a Seven, one would expect to find pleasure addictions, taking more credit than he is due, receiving flattery as manna from heaven — basically, the messiah toolkit.

A year ago, I explained how, if one looked close enough, one could find these attributes as a theme in the life of Mr. Obama.

Fast forward a year, and we have that famous Iowa victory speech of last week. This was a profound speech because it attracted favorable commentary from not only the liberal media, but from the sort conservative commentators who eviscerate Mrs. Clinton. This speech showed clearly what Mr. Obama is for America: The Great Uniter.

So when I first watched that video, I got goose bumps. (11:58-13:05) It felt good being a Canadian in America heading for my citizenship interview next week. I still get that feeling when I watch the video again.

But me being me, I also look a little closer than most. For example, I noticed a couple Seven things about Obama during the 15 minute speech. On “receiving flattery as manna from heaven” I draw your attention to the moments during the speech when the crowd interrupted Mr. Obama with chanting or cheering. Specifically, notice two different such moments: in one, the crowd interrupted with chants of “U-S-A” (3:50-3:58); in the second, with chants of “O-ba-ma” (4:56-5:10).

Notice anything about Mr. Obama’s reaction to these two interruptions? During the U-S-A chanting, Mr. Obama waited patiently for the audience to quiet down, with little expression on his face. But during the O-ba-ma chanting, Mr. Obama beamed that 10,000 watt smile of his, and seemed to milk it all in. I see that and I see I a guy who suckles flattery like a babe on a tit. Bingo! Seven.

Now, on the issue of “taking more credit than he is due”, I draw your attention to the point in the speech when Mr. Obama said something to the effect: “Years from now, when we have made progress fighting global warming, getting past the oil-based-economy, ending the war, etc., you will say that you were here on this day in this place where it all began.” (8:48-9:30) Wild cheering ensued. Hell I got goose bumps.

But think about it. Who won the Nobel peace prize in 2007? Al Gore. For what? Raising world consciousness about global warming. Now, of course, Al Gore’s work stood on the shoulders of a great many others who have been working on these issues for decades.

So if, 5 or 6 years from now, America and the world have made improvements on this score, it would seem safe to say that these improvements began long before the Iowa caucuses, having nothing to do with the political aspirations of the junior Senator from Illinois. But there he was last week, pre-emptively taking more credit than will be due him, even in the best case in which he ends up playing a central role in moving the issue ahead. Bingo! Seven.

Finally, having “trashed” Mr. Obama, let me conclude by trashing myself. This is a four-part blog posting in which I all but declare myself as the “Obama-boy”. I explain why I am passionate about this fellow’s political candidacy. I really, really want this guy to win.

Also, I’m smart enough to know that, if the above analysis resonates, his enemies could use it to harm the very candidacy that I promote.

What gives with me? Returning to the Enneagram, I am an Eight raised by a Five father. As an Eight, my attention is tuned toward spotting weaknesses in phenomena outside of myself. So watching the Iowa speech, I not only got swept up in it all, I also (subconsciously) watched for signs of weakness, error, and excessive aversion/attraction.

Being raised by a Five dad served to channel my weakness spotting energy into an academic sensibility. About any phenomenon that interests me (and a great many do), I ask questions like: Why did that happen? How does it work? What are the patterns? How does it relate to other phenomena?

As you can probably guess, I am terribly boring to most people in my own life, including my wife. So instead of boring all of these people, I instead bore you. But since few if any of you actually read my blog, my speaking may as well be a tree falling in a forest with no one around to hear.

Which brings me back to my Eightness. Yeah, I’d like it better if “you” existed and we could have a dialog over these matters. But even if you don’t exist, I get pleasure merely from speaking, whether or not anyone is actually listening.

In other words, speaking my mind — no matter what sort of shit is floating around in that bowl — trumps promoting my own interests. I would not have done well in the Russia of Solzenitzen, nor in the China of today — where my only blog readers would have been the thought police.

I realize this is an odd existence. Perhaps even a bit damaged. Whatever the case, it’s a blissful existence in this blessed free country of ours.

17 Responses to "All Hail the Messiah Obama (3 of 4): Messiah"

What is wrong with Hilary Clinton. Also, yes it seems like he might be a seven. But I wonder how other numbers in the enneagram would respond to people cheering their name. Some probably the same.

Hilary Clinton is the next in a line stretching back through Kerry and all the way back to her sham husband Bill. Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992 represents the moment when the Democratic Party abandoned its progressive mission (which was almost a century in the running) to become corporation-loving neocon-lite poll watchers. “Clintonism” means “to believe in nothing, to commit to nothing, to seek only power for its own sake, and to do it by any means necessary.” Best recent example: Until her Iowa defeat, the central point of Hillary’s candidacy was her experience. Obama and Edwards were about change. The exit polling after Iowa showed the voters favored change over experience by a margin of 5-1. Guess what Hilary’s posture became after Iowa? Yep, she’s now the candidate of change.

As for Enneagram type responses to flattery, different types would react differently. Sixes are suspicious of flattery. Nines don’t want to be elevated and disconnected from other people. Eights can be suspicious of manipulation. Fives can receive flattery awkwardly. Sevens receive it smoothly and joyfully as if it were the natural order of things. I must emphasize the key in my analysis above: Obama’s differential responses to the different kinds of audience interruptions. There were a number of interruptions. The only one for which he beamed his telegenetic smile and was obviously enjoying it was for the O-ba-ma chant interruption. Anyway, if you’re interested in these sorts of arcane, obscure ideas, just watch for these sorts of “meta” things. It’s in there that the seeds of personality are found.

Okay. I saw the victory speech. I like the guy. Personlly too. Sure he smiled a little too long with the Obama chant, but that’s like saying, 1 cup of coffee a month is going to harm my health. Pretty insignificant to me. The true test for this possible messiah complex, is if he should win for president, if he still displays with words and actions, the stuff he talked about in his speech: unity, break from oil tyranny, etc. He acknowledged his wife. He made his children and America’s children appear to be on the same playing field. I think this guy (from what I’ve seen), is healthy. But we won’t know that until we watch him in action.

By the way, who is running for the Republicans? Also, who votes for Obama? The American people? Which American people? Also, when I watched the victory speech, I can see how someone would want to assinated him. Like those invested in the big oil corporations, or those heavily invested in the military in Iraq. Scary.

Thanks. I had the same positive reactions you did watching the video — except for liking the guy. Glad you mentioned who he thanked: his wife, and his political organization. He gave them effusive praise. One might even call it “flattery”.

Aha! We’re back at the Seven. Sevens are people who love being flattered, and who offer *strategic* flattery. That is, they don’t go willy nilly flattering everybody and everything that merits flattery. Instead, they flatter the specific people who they need for building their messiah profile.

Obama’s political/messiah aspirations up until November live and die with his wife and his organization. If they’re not both behind him 100%, he can’t win.

Notice who he didn’t flatter in his 14+ minute speech: His opponents Clinton and Edwards. Hell even I could think of things to flatter those two about — even though I really hope they both lose to Obama and I *really* don’t like either person.

Obama did not flatter those two because, I believe, at the time he gave that Iowa speech those two were still very much alive and a threat to him. When he’s finally killed off those two, watch for the effusive *strategic* flattery.

Argh. I hate to be in this position. I really want the guy to win for the reasons I’ve said — even though I think he’s a bit of an asshole.

The Republicans are toast. It doesn’t matter who is running for them — it’s a toss-up right now. If nominated, Obama will win in November with the kind of landslide FDR enjoyed.

I agree with your guess as to who would likely go after Obama if elected. Same sort of people who went after FDR, plus, as you pointed out, and as Eisenhower warned, the military-industrial complex.

Am I missing something? It was a victory speech. Didn’t he already beat out Clinton and Edwards. Also, who is doing the voting.

No, you’re not missing anything. The speech was given after he had been declared winner of Iowa and Clinton and Edwards had conceded. In sports, when your team wins a big game, it’s considered gracious to flatter your defeated opponent (e.g. “boy, they played a good game”, “my hat’s off to those guys”, “they left it all on the field”, etc.).

But American politics is not sports. Instead, it’s high-school. It’s a competition for the coolest kid in school. And once your fierce opponent starts looking like a “loser” and “nerd” and “dweeb”, when they had been calling you a loser, nerd, and dweeb, the last thing you’re going to do — as a 17-year-old hormone-fueled prick — is anything that might rehabilitate your floundering opponent and keep them as a viable challenger to you.

By not mentioning Clinton or Edwards, Obama was just being the coolest kid in high school. Which is why I want him for president!

p.s. Don’t ask who is doing the voting. It’s different for different states. And it’s convoluted.

“to believe in nothing, to commit to nothing, to seek only power for its own sake, and to do it by any means necessary.”

a virus!

Thanks Tom. Not sure what you meant by “virus”. So it’s kind of like a Rorschach comment. Here’s what I get out of it:

Why do some alleged humans subscribe to what you have quoted? Basically, the quotation boils down to a pursuit of power irrespective of human concerns. What does that sound like?

It sounds like the analogue to the corporate domination of our national consciousness. In that domain, the mantra is: “Show me the money!”, irrespective of human concerns.

So in a culture dominated by this corporate mantra, it should come as no surprise that certain humans have caught this “virus”, and mutated it into its political analogue. As I discussed in my Long Tail Rising paper, power is the “coin” of the Government domain of society; money, that of the Business domain; and emotion, of the Community domain.

Disproportionate emphasis on the Business domain in our society has produced politicians carrying the communicable power-obsession virus.

“Committing to nothing” is why a virus is so effective at spreading. The message mutates depending on the target. Like a snake oil salesman, the “virus” uses all of the tricks of persuasion to win over the target. Ideology is the basis for authentic (and often healthy) group formation. However, committing to an ideology only restrains the growth of a virus. What good is health or authenticity? As you have well documented on this blog before, politics is now one hundred percent about the money – issues are an anachronism. There is a strong incentive to commit to nothing when it is all about the money.

Well said!

good work eight

thanks andu

[…] think, at a personal level, Nader is an asshole — a self-styled “messiah” figure like Obama. Likes himself just a bit too […]

[…] disappointment is captured in a comment I made on an earlier post of mine from back in January: All Hail the Messiah Obama (3 of 4): Messiah. In that post, among other thoughts, I argued that Obama was human, whereas Hillary was an avatar. […]

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for the money has gone too far

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