Love is blind, in life and in politics

Peter Lemiska | October 19, 2012 

As the election approaches, many wonder why, considering the country’s desperate economic situation, Barack Obama is still able to maintain relatively high poll numbers – much higher numbers, in fact, than past Presidents facing similar conditions. His political opponents are bewildered and frustrated by the tenacious support he enjoys.

A possible explanation may have come from none other than 1970s singer James Taylor. During his performance at the Democratic National Convention, Taylor confessed, “I’m an old white guy, and I love Barack Obama.” Of course the audience cheered wildly, but I found his passion somewhat curious, and wondered how many others were so enamored with Mr. Obama.

Some quick research confirmed what most of us already know. There is a segment of the country that is hopelessly in love with Barack Obama. Those in the entertainment industry, in particular, are spellbound by his charms. Screen star Mila Kunis, as well as lesser known, but better educated actress, Meredith Salenger, have also professed an abiding love for Obama. Even country singer Garth Brooks admitted, “I love President Obama to death.”

We’ve always known that Hollywood has supported Obama from the very beginning, but could it be that their affection runs much deeper than anyone could have imagined? Is that bond so strong that nothing can break it?

And it’s not just Hollywood. The media is also in love with the man. Take Hardball host Chris Matthews, for example. Something, perhaps professional ethics, prevented him from uttering those three little words, but we knew he was smitten when those four memorable words gushed from his mouth. That thrill up his leg dispelled any rumors of his objectivity and has made him the butt of jokes ever since. Others in the media may be less candid, but are no less infatuated.

In fact, love is all around Barack Obama. There are songs and poems about him, T shirts, mugs, and posters emblazoned with “I heart Obama,” blogs that celebrate him, and books that swoon over him. Talk show hosts and late night comics fawn over him, and there’s even some character called Obama-Boy who sings about his crush on Barack.

I know, I know. Liberals have a right to love whomever they want. They’ve told us countless times it’s no one’s business. And yes, Republicans have had their share of beloved Presidents. Lincoln and Reagan come to mind. But at least they accomplished something. Besides, there’s just something unsettling about all this breathless adulation for the man who was elected to lead the country. We love our spouses, our children, family members, perhaps even our pets…but the President?

There are only two things our leaders need to earn from us: trust and respect. But those things are not really essential when you have all that unabashed love, the kind of blind loyalty dictators try to cultivate. Do we want to be governed by a “Dear Leader” in this country? If we get chills whenever the President speaks, how can we fairly judge his actions? Like giddy schoolgirls swooning over Justin Bieber, those who are enamored with the President are simply incapable of seeing anything other than purity and goodness. Obama may be just as charming as young Justin, but the President’s decisions and actions impact all of our lives, and they need to be judged objectively.

Most of us know from personal experience that there’s a lot of truth in the old adage, “love is blind.” Emotional attachment truly does blunt our reasoning and objectivity. It skews our perspective and our thought process. We all accept basic facts, and draw reasonable conclusions from them. Most of us start with the fact that our national debt has skyrocketed over the past four years. We draw the logical conclusion that our leadership is responsible. Obama’s supporters start with the basic premise that their heartthrob can do no wrong. They therefore conclude that our economic woes must stem from some other source, like President Bush. A 2008 report published in the UK by The Independent confirms this relationship between emotion and reason. According to the article, scientists measuring brain waves discovered that feelings of love seem to de-activate large parts of the cerebral cortex – associated with judgment and reasoning.

Yes, that seems to explain everything. Perhaps it’s why so many still adamantly defend Obama, and allow him to blame others for his failed economy. It may explain why they ignore the mind-boggling debt he’s created for our children, the trillions of wasted taxpayer dollars, and the scandals like Solyndra and Fast and Furious. It could explain why they shrug their shoulders at his unilateral and unconstitutional decrees, like those requiring the Catholic Church to contradict established church doctrine. It seems to explain why they readily accept his confusing and evolving stories in a shameful effort to minimize the assassination of an American Ambassador. It tells us why they see greatness where everyone else sees an empty suit.

Those who shake their heads in disbelief at Obama’s committed supporters should cut them some slack. They’re not necessarily foolish, uninformed, or crazy. They’re just in love.


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