Skip to comments.As the Cheering Stops
Posted on 02/02/2014 6:33:53 AM PST by Kaslin
President Obama had some typical applause lines the other night during his State of the Union address, but evidence abounds that there is less and less applause these days outside the Beltway for his performance and policies. Some of that is normal as a presidency moves toward lame duck status, but in Obamas case it seems to be more pronounced.
Charles Mackay, a nineteenth century Scottish journalist, wrote a fascinating treatise titled, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. First published in 1841, the book chronicled the most remarkable instances of those moral epidemics which have been excited, sometimes by one cause and sometimes by another, and to show how easily the masses have been led astray, and how imitative and gregarious men are, even in their infatuations and crimes.
Mr. Mackay described an assortment of nefarious financial schemes dating back to the early 1700s. He noted that they were then nicknamed bubbles. To him, this term was the most appropriate that imagination could devise, adding that, the most absurd and preposterous of all, and which showed more completely than any other, the utter madness of the people, was one started by an unknown adventurer, entitled, A company for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is.
When bubbles burst, people who have been hypnotized by their presence tend to be disappointed, like children who see something compelling one moment, only to witness its sudden dissipation. And sometimes there is even disillusionment.
It might be constructive, maybe even essential, to think of the whole Barack Obama phenomenon over the past few years as one of those gigantic bubbles. It captured pan-cultural attention and transcended the humdrum of mere mortal politics. Expectations were inflated. Rational analysis was muted. Look, up in the skyits a bird, its a plane, no its Super President above the political fray soaring in his designer soap bubble.
The value of Barack Obamas stock was once sky high. His most devoted followers assumed this upward trend would continue toward utopia. Happy days were just around the corner. You could just feel the love and unitynot to mention the hope and change.
There was a problem, though. No one, not even Barack Obama, could possibly sustain that level of near universal affection and acclaim indefinitely. Human glory tends to be fleeting, especially the political variety. Obamas bubble is bursting.
And there are many unhappy American campers.
There is a saying: Motivation without implementation produces frustration. In the political arena this means that when someone inspires people without eventually following through, the result is disenchantment. Barack Obamas style over substance campaign was very much a bipolar candidacy. We have seen the manic partnow we are bearing witness to the depressive side.
Rarely has a political figure generated the kind of near-universal acclaim that the junior senator from Illinois seemed to receive when he ran in 2008. His trip to Europe drew enthusiastic crowds at every public event. People sought to touch the hem of his garment. Obamas speech in Berlin was given before a crowd of more than 200,000. Take that Camelot.
One German publication actually referred then to Barack Obama as President of the World. That was before he was elected as merely the President of the United States. Thats heady stuff. For an American politician to get that kind of response in Europe was remarkable.
But it was not unprecedented.
Ninety-five years ago another American received the royal treatment on the continent. His name was Woodrow Wilson and he became an international hero, at least for a brief and shining moment. Within days of the signing of the Armistice ending The Great War, the man who led our country into a war to make the world safe for democracy crossed the Atlantic to become president of his world.
As Mr. Wilsons train arrived at the Hoboken Pier in New Jersey on the morning of December 4, 1918, a great crowd gathered to wish him a safe and prosperous voyage. A band played the national anthem as the George Washington set sail on the ten-day trans-Atlantic voyage. More than 10,000 people viewed the scene from a distance in lower Manhattan. They wanted to witness history. You see, not only was the chief executive going abroad to save the planet, he was, in fact, the first president up to that time to travel outside the country while in office. Zeppelins hovered overhead. Planes looped and swooped. It was the media event of the decade.
When the ship reached the Port of Brest in France, it was met with even greater enthusiasm. Margaret MacMillan, great-granddaughter of Wilsons contemporary and collaborator at the Paris peace conference, David Lloyd-George, described the scene in her excellent book, Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World: The streets were lined with laurel wreaths and flags. On the walls, posters paid tribute to Wilson, those from right-wingers for saving them from Germany and those from the left for the new world he promised. Huge numbers of people, many resplendent in their traditional Breton costumes, covered every inch of pavement, every roof, every tree. Even the lampposts were taken. The air filled with the skirl of Breton bagpipes and repeated shouts of Vive lAmérique! Vive Wilson!
Woodrow Wilson was the most popular man in the world.
But just a year later it had all changed. Someone in Barack Obamas camp should long ago have found a copy of a 1964 book by Gene Smith. The title says it all: When the Cheering Stopped. President Wilson came to understand that the deafening sound of grand and glorious bombs bursting in air can, all too quickly, give way to the nearly inaudible sound of a bursting bubble.
By 1920, the man who had so recently been hailed as the greatest international statesman ever, watched in physical and emotional brokenness as his nation rejected what he hoped would be his lasting legacy. They voted Republican and would twice more in the decade. Mr. Wilson died in 1924 after another in a long line of strokes. But doubtless somewhere in the mix were complications due to a bubble that burst.
People are fickle and the bigger the bubble, the bigger the mess when it inevitably bursts. Stay tuned.
To kick it up a notch the oppressed females in the audience stepped into the isle to dance.
Should be required reading in high school history classes.
But it won’t.
MEMOIRS OF EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS.
MEMOIRS OF EXTRAORDINARY POPULAR DELUSIONS.
It is available in several other book reader formats at:
Here is a HTML version that is index driven. It is possibly a little easier to find interesting sections to read and see the overall view of the book.
Volume I. Contents. List of Engravings. Preface. The Mississippi Scheme. The South-Sea Bubble. The Tulipomania. The Alchymists. Modern Prophecies. Fortune-Telling. The Magnetisers. Influence of Politics and Religion on the Hair and Beard. Volume II. Contents. List of Engravings. The Crusades. The Witch Mania. The Slow Poisoners. Haunted Houses. Popular Follies of Great Cities. Popular Admiration of Great Thieves. Duels and Ordeals. Relics.
Did you see the interviews about Obama’s speech? The interviewer asked for opinions about his speech....BEFORE the speech had been made. Harhar, HILARIOUS.
“...Woodrow Wilson ... December 4, 1918 ...
... the first president to travel outside the country while in office ...
... was the media event of the decade...”
Interesting tidbit of history.
There were shivers among the electorate that he, and his minions, were secretly conspiring to overthrow the Constitution, to keep him in office forever.
WASHINTON TIMES REPORTED: 2012 Candidate Obama trucked through Tinseltown to buck up his star-crossed supporters. His first stop was an unusual sub rosa closed-door, off-the-record meeting for a dozen donors who had maxed out their contributions. Bill Clinton was there as Mr. Obama spent two hours kvetching at DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenbergs house.
Then Obama moved on---pitching to 150 people, who paid $25,000 to eat at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant with superstar George Clooney, film studio honcho Harvey Weinstein and Oscar host Seth MacFarlane. At the time, the worshipful Hollywood honchos were actually planning an Obama star on Hollywoods Walk of Fame to cement his place in La-La Land....
Alas, Hollywood and the rest of America found out they couldn't keep their health plans, as a grinning, lying Obama had promised over and over, again.
Conservatives saw that. We tried to tell people that. But the media conspired in the illusion, and repeated the lie that he was a towering intellect, a visionary, a hope-and-change Messiah.
Now, 5-plus years and untold damage later, the realities don't match the claims. He has almost no significant accomplishments under his belt, and his signature legislation is an embarrassing, hated nightmare of bureaucratic bungling, draconian design, and execrable execution (just as we predicted it would be). His foreign policy -- whatever it is -- is a quisling mess. The economy is in ruins. Race relations are at an all-time low. And America is slipping from primacy into "also-ran" status. Plus we're still getting American men and women killed in third-world hellholes that are unworthy of our blood. Obama has been an utter, unqualified failure.
Since liberal candidates tend to be pretty packages with nothing inside, the day inevitably comes when you have to open the package. That you're disappointed seems only logical.
NRO tallied what taxpayers are paying for M/M O to live large on the taxpayers' dime: a grand total of $1.4 billion per year:
Air Force One ($181,757 per hour), executive chef ($100,000 per year), three full-time White House calligraphers ($277,050 per year for the trio), chief of staff to the presidents dog ($102,000 per year), Ohaha's royal motorcade ($2.2 million). $100 million alone for the African apology tour.
$1.4 BILLION is the current annual cost of the White House just in household expenses, not including US policy operations for which the WH exists-- administered by some 900 parasites--- policy staff recruited by Ohaha.
There's the $100 million trip to Africa not including the foreign aid billions O handed out to these oil-rich satraps. There's serial Ohaha vacations costing taxpayers millions---- (the low estimate Hawaii vacays is $4 million each, but is probably five times that); the pricey Martha's Vineyard stays; Mrs O's costly trip to elite Marbella w/ an entourage of 30.
Mrs O's $3900 PER NIGHT in Ireland PLUS 30 more rooms for her entourage.
Ireland's Grace Kelly hotel suite.
TAXPAYERS SUFFERED RUINOUS HEALTHCARE CANCELLATIONS--BUT THEY PAY $7 MILLION FOR THE OBAMAS HEALTHCARE---NRO found the first familys yearly health-care costs Americans $7 million; the reason why only Boobamba himself was "enrolled" last month --and not his family.
Mrs O wore her pricey diamond bangles (bought on a govt salary?) at a DNC fund-raiser, attended by "tolerant and compassionate" Dems....raised big bucks to keep Mr O in office so he could work for "the poor." Her diamond Gothic cuff priced at $15,350 set with 2.17 carats in diamonds and the Quatrefoil bracelet at $11,800 set with 1.73 carats in diamonds. (Excerpt) Read more at houston.culturemap.com.
Mrs O wowed all the "tolerant and compassionate" Dems who hate the rich and support endless tax-paid programs "for the poor."
Mrs O has 24 assistants at her beck and call. Her
wardrobe, nails and hair pieces subsidized w/ tax dollars
of struggling Americans.
These two give a whole new meaning to the word “uppity”.
Liberals are STILL putting George Bush down.
“Yeah obama is bad but G Bush was worse!”
They have successfully duped many conservatives into believing just that
Of course McCain jumped up and down while clapping like a giddy school girl.
(On the other hand, some are smart.)
"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech. "
A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue. "
After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said. "
Do you admire the view?
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick,
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but
"The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said:
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?'
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.
Thanks for posting this. ~S
Aunt Hester or Ester or whatever is the role model for moochie.
I don’t know what the role model is for odumbo. Malcolm X, Frank Davis or what. George Jefferson may be close enough for uppity though.
I watched “Gone with the Wind” last night on TCM. The blacks riding around with the carpet baggers could have been the same picture today. That movie was made 75 years ago.
Speaking of not much changing from 75 years ago, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”. I don’t know if it was real or satire then but the images portrayed are absolutely real today. The only thing missing is Harry Carey as president of the Spinate. The words unspoken conveyed by his smile and expressions to Jimmy Stewart were outstanding and heart warming.
“Speaking of not much changing from 75 years ago, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”
Thanks for the reminder-—I’ll have to get that and watch it again. I haven’t seen it in years.
The fickle nature of man is an ancient and well documented fact.
For those old enough to have seen the movie “Patton” staring George C. Scott one of his monologues is the best summation of this, and unfortunately, our contemporary society:
And the slave whispered into the conquering general’s ear - “Respice post te! Hominem te memento!” meaning Look behind you. Remember you are but a man just to remember that all glory is fleeting.
How many people in positions of massive adoration, political, military, sports, entertainment, business, remember what it was like before they caught the eye of the crowd? How many think, even for a moment, that they will lose the eye of the crowd?
Those who do remember this remain in our memories for ever and become yardsticks to measure other people’s performance. Those who don’t fade quickly and become a page in a history book that is never read.
Proof of statement - look at the republic’s 44 presidents. Who can name all 44 much less put them in chorological order?
No, I don’t think that’s true. Conservatives like me would say that Bush was bad, but Obama is worse. What is terrible about Bush is he paved the way for an Obama to take over America. He governed like a liberal and he let the press attack conservatism unopposed for 8 years, then, when the liberals engineered a crisis, he allowed them to emerge looking like saviors, ushering in Obama. What is worse, the tyrant, or the man who knows better who allows the tyrant?
The Bushs’ have had government paychecks and pensions, all of their lives.
I looked for a copy of that book for years. When I found one, they wanted way too much for it. Then I found it on gutenberg.org
Had read a copy of it in a library, but nice to have it as a reference piece.
That website is a great resource for old material. Some of which is priceless. i.e. some of Bastiat’s work
The work you referenced:
THROUGH THE LOOKING-GLASS
One of my favorite books (of many).
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It is obvious you like classic literature.
Yes. I’m drawn to high intelligence like a magnet. That’s what draws me to Free Republic.
And didn’t Mrs. Wilson end up effectively serving as President in the place of the invalid Mr. Wilson?
I discovered FR many years ago from a link on Drudge.
Was a lurker for a long time. Until an event happened that made me want to post. Hooked since then.