Posts tagged ‘cult of the president’

The President is not my King or my God

[George] Washington was, as David Boaz put it in his excellent essay of that title, “the man who would not be king.” He would not accept a title or an honorific, and established the excellent republican practice of referring to the chief executive simply as “Mr. President.” George Washington did not need the presidency — the presidency needed him.

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The presidency today is a grotesquerie. It is a temporary kingship without the benefit of blood or honor or antiquity, which is to say a combination of the worst aspects of monarchy with the worst aspects of democracy, a kind of inverted Norway. (King Olav V, the “folkekonge,” was famous for using public transit.) It is steeped in imperial ceremony, from the risible and unworthy monkey show that is the State of the Union address to the motorcades and Air Force One to the elevation of the first lady (or, increasingly, “First Lady”) to the position of royal consort; our chief magistracy gives the impression of being about five minutes away from purple robes, if not togas.

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But the president is not the tribune of the plebs. He is not a sacred person or the holder of a sacred office. He is neither pontifex nor imperator. He is not the spiritual distillation of the republic or the personification of our national ideals and values. (Thank God Almighty.) He is not even primus inter pares like the chief justice of the Supreme Court or the Patriarch of Constantinople. He is the commander in chief in time of war (which, since we have abandoned the advice of Washington and Eisenhower, is all of the time, now) and the chief administrator of the federal bureaucracy. That is it.

He is not a ruler.

But men demand to be ruled, and they will find themselves a king even when there is none. (Consider all of the hilarious and self-abasing celebration of Donald Trump as an “alpha male” among his admirers, an exercise in chimpanzee sociology if ever there were one.) But they must convince themselves that they are being ruled by a special sort of man; in ancient times, that was the function of the hereditary character of monarchies. In our times, it is reinforced through civic religion, including the dopey annual exercise that is Presidents’ Day.

Abolish Presidents’ Day – It is time to roll back the imperial cult.

Statolatry and Ozymandias

See also “The President is not my “boss” nor my king nor my God. Rubes

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“I have become convinced….” President Big Brother

I have become convinced, based on what I would argue is the increasing weight of the evidence, that Mr. Obama is a man whose sense of mission, his arrogance and self-righteousness, and his belief in the malevolence of his enemies might well lead him and his administration to act in ways that would seem to him to be justified at the time but, in fact, are wholly inappropriate.

Obama Can’t Be Trusted with Power

Thugs and fascists act that way. Forward!

Last week, when Americans learned of a massive erosion of our freedom, also marked the 64th anniversary of the publication of George Orwell’s “1984.”

If you haven’t read it, please do so. If you read it years ago, read it again. The movie doesn’t count.

But don’t read it on the Internet. Instead, look for one of those quaint, old-fashioned “books on paper,” so the federal security forces can’t read along with you online.

On Friday, President Barack Obama stood in San Jose, Calif., to reassure a nation overwhelmed, perhaps numbed, at how quickly we’ve given up our liberty in the name of security.

President Big Brother from Chicago has always believed in the power of his rhetorical skills. Unfortunately, his aides forgot the speech. There was no script and no teleprompter.
. . .
This all comes after other news, that the Internal Revenue Service was used to squash dissent and harass conservative and tea party groups; and that phone records of journalists from The Associated Press and Fox News were seized, even though President Big Brother insists that he’s all about the First Amendment.

The loss of freedom has hit us so quickly that Obama felt compelled to stand up and make soothing sounds.

President Big Brother says don’t worry about federal spying

I predict we will see more spying and more intrusive spying. You should not think that recent events will simply cement a previous status quo in place, rather it moves us down a very particular path and probably makes the entire problem worse. The age of creative ambiguity in surveillance is over and probably not for the better.

The loss of privacy and the collapse of creative ambiguity

At some point, you have to recognize that OBAMA is the zombie.

So long as we have a big and bloated government, the politicians are going to want some sort of oppressive bureaucracy to extract several trillion dollars of our money every year.

So if we really want to clip the wings of the IRS, we better figure out how to restore limited, constitutional government.

Which Group Is More Despicable, IRS Bureaucrats or the Politicians who Created the Tax Code?

A large state headed by an arrogant, self-righteous Moral Preener in Chief demagogue – what could possibly go wrong?
Why the NSA Prism Program Could Kill U.S. Tech Companies

The IRS Scandal, Day 30



Somebody needs to tell the president that it’s not that a lack of trust in government leads to “some problems,” it’s that a litany of problems involving the use and abuse of government’s coercive power have eroded any basis for trust.

‘Trust Us,’ Says the President, Even as the Government Proves It Can’t Be Trusted

The idol worship and the cult of the presidency lives on. Rubes.



Unfortunately, it seems that the future Aldous Huxley predicted in 1932, in Brave New World, is arriving early. Mockery, truculence, and minimalist living are best, then enjoy the decline. However, we do need a Revolving Door Tax (RDT), learn what Members of Congress pay in taxes, and prosecute politicians and staff and their “family and friends” who profit from insider trading.

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