Whatever Mike Huckabee’s views of his calling are, it seems to me that there’s a good bit of quasi- or pseudo-religious sentiment in a different venue on the campaign trail. Consider, for example, this post, by our friend RC2 (who, it’s safe to say, isn’t likely to vote for Obama in tomorrow’s Potomac primary) and this post, by MOJ’s Rob Vischer, who seems largely immune to the enthusiasm (and I would call attention to the literal meaning of the word) for Obama, despite his unfulfilled intention to vote for him in last week’s Minnesota caucuses.
Although I was taken to task by some commenters for viewing the Obamenon through lenses offered by Jonah Goldberg, I can’t help but call attention to this passage from an email one of Rob’s readers sent to him about Obama:
isn’t it true that at the very heart of progressivism lays the desire to subject all (or most) or human life to politics? That seems to lie at the base of Historicism which is the philosophical expression of progressivism: as the State becomes more and more "rational," experts are more and more able to govern the minutiae of human life in the name of the common good. There is less room for "little platoons" of civil society as their functions are swallowed up in the all-encompassing State. This in turn leads to greater "democracy" because the whole people are able to govern the whole of everyone else’s lives through the State.
This is not to say that all modern-day progressives wish this to occur, but at the very least it needs to be addressed and explained by those who seek to take up the mantle of progressivism today.
I think that there are some countervailing tendencies in Obama’s own understanding of things. But he doesn’t seem to be doing much to discourage the messianism of his supporters (I almost typed "followers"). Locked in a dogfight with the Clintons, that would probably be bad politics. Perhaps I should just take solace in the facts that Obama acknowledges that he’s a sinner in need of a savior (which gives some "hope" for his humility) and that he uses the first person plural a lot (at least that’s better than "I...I...I").
Still, I worry....