Is “Obamamania” Getting out of Control?

It seems that it’s not only the nationalistic pride of American people who have and will capitalize on their new and highly promising next President. He is also helping to line people’s pockets. Obama has successfully created a wave of merchandising and branding which is no doubt unprecedented in American politics. Now we are all fully aware of the standard bumper stickers, buttons, and political signage common to all politicians, but some Obama products take political merchandising to an entirely new and oftentimes, excessive and downright weird level.

Some examples include: Now you can apply your Obama lip gloss, pop on your Obama earrings, and plant a wet kiss on your very own life-sized Obama cardboard cut-out in the comfort of your own home! WARNING: dangerous levels of hope may result.

Let me just assure you that I am a huge Obama fan and have been supporting him since the start of the primaries against Hilary Clinton way back when. I was beyond ecstatic when he won on November 4th. I hold high hopes for him now. And I genuinely relate to the way he speaks and the humility, integrity, and rationality of his words.

But there is such a thing as over-hyping someone, hence creating gargantuan and unattainable expectations of him and his performance. There is no doubt that Obama is inheriting a country in shambles, leaving him with a very full plate. Let’s review:

  • Two wars that are raging in Iraq and Afghanistan with favorable results from either seemingly out of grasp
  • An almost impossible tightrope act in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • An economy that is going through its worst times since the Great Depression of the 1930s
  • A national debt of over a trillion dollars
  • Difficult questions regarding Guantanamo Bay, Iran, Russia, and North Korea

On top of all this, add the huge expectations of the man, the incredible hype surrounding Tuesday’s inauguration, and a populace suffering from a need for instant gratification, and the mere fact that this guy can sleep at night is amazing.

I’m not saying that people should not celebrate this historic moment with all their enthusiasm. It is what it is and the Obama bandwagon has gained too much steam to stop now. I guess my point is that we should all herald the fact that with so much going on around him, he remains just as calm, cool, and collected as we have ever seen him.

I have no doubt in my mind that while millions of people around the world revere and idolize him, very few would actually want to be him.


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