One of the standard attacks on President Trump’s supporters is that it’s a “cult of personality” and that his voters have been bamboozled into worshiping him like a false god. This is utter nonsense. I’ve never met a Trump voter yet who didn’t have to be convinced at first, and who still winces at some of the tweets, but on the whole has been pleasantly surprised (and they sometimes note that he’s done a fine job of fulfilling their #1 requirement in a candidate in 2016: that he not be Hillary Clinton.)
Generally speaking, while we Republicans have a few icons we hold in particularly high regard, like Ronald Reagan, we don’t look at government as our religion, but as sort of a necessary evil, and we already have a Savior so we don’t need a politician to be one. It’s liberal Democrats who are always looking to fill that hole in their souls with a charismatic leader, from FDR to JFK to Bill Clinton to Barack “The Lightbringer” Obama. (There’s a joke going around that Obama isn’t worried about global warming causing his new $15 million beachfront mansion to be submerged because he can just lower the tides with a wave of his hand.)
Unfortunately, for all the candidates in the 2016 race, there are precious few who inspire any messianic feelings (although Bernie Sanders has been mistaken for Moses on a few occasions.) The Dems are so desperate for a charismatic savior figure that some have latched onto Pete Buttigieg. It seems doubtful that he’s about to get the mother of all promotions, from Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, to President of the United States. But why would anyone even consider such a ridiculous premise in the first place, and the media take it seriously? Do smooth talk and the right image really carry that much weight with Democrats, and accomplishments and experience so little?
Apparently so. Months after the media elevated Buttigieg to presidential-darling-of-the-moment, Fox News’ Raymond Arroyo did what someone should have done on day one: he went to South Bend to find out whether the guy was even running his small city competently. The report is well worth watching, both to open the eyes of any remaining Buttigieg groupies and as a cautionary tale for those who would choose their nation’s leader after less due diligence than they’d put into choosing a barber.