Charismatic Authority

osho.jpgEverywhere you look, Obama has been labeled as an inspirational leader; a charismatic leader uniting Americans behind him in his presidential campaign with such excitement that some say hasn’t existed since JFK. His inspirational message is delivered with such great charisma that some are reporting that he is even pulling Republicans into his fold. Is the existence of “Obamacans” an indicator of a world class inspirational leader?

It’s easy to recognize other charismatic and world class inspirational leaders throughout history; Winston Churchill, Abe Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Martin Luther King and even Christ.

Is Obama a modern day JFK or Winston Churchill? I think he has followers who would suggest so. But does it takes more than charisma to make an Abe Lincoln.

For a second, consider these additions to the list of charismatic and world class inspirational leaders; Charles Manson, Mohammed, remember Jim Jones, and even Adolf Hitler. All four of them had large followings, were inspirational, very charismatic, yet all four were also considered by many to be world class evil. So why did I include them in the list of inspirational and charismatic leaders?

Leadership, especially charismatic leadership doesn’t specifically require a leader to lead towards anything in particular, just inspire and lead. Good, bad, right, wrong, indifferent, or even evil are really irrelevant when it comes to leadership. In fact I would argue that it will be easier to find a charismatic leader who will lead towards evil and indifference than it will be to find one that will lead towards good and right.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.
(Matthew 7:13-14 NIV)

I’m not saying that Barack Obama is evil, nor that he will lead our nation towards evil, but I’m not saying that he is not. I don’t think many people, including the fainters, have a real good idea of where Sen. Obama is headed. I hear from a lot of Obama supporters that he will bring peace back to the Middle East by changing our approach to the situation.

There a radical regime continues to pursue its capacity to build a nuclear weapon and continues to support terrorism across the region. President Ahmadinejad continues his offensive denials of the Holocaust and disturbing denunciations of Israel. recently referred to Israel as a deadly microbe and a savage animal. Threats of Israel’s destruction can not be dismissed as rhetoric. The threat from Iran is real and my goal as president would be to eliminate that threat.

I will also carry with me an unshakable commitment to the security of Israel and the friendship between the United States and Israel.

My approach to Iran will be aggressive diplomacy. I will not take any military options off the table.

Funny how much those words spoken by Barack Obama just 3 days ago to Jewish leaders don’t sound a lot like change. To me, they sound a lot like what President Bush’s position on Iran has been all along. Where’s the change?

Charismatic Authority is authority based on nothing other than an individual’s own charisma; not through experience, service or some legal means; just charisma. I think Charismatic Authority is what Barack Obama is counting on to get him into the White House, and with the media’s help, it looks like his plan is working; so far. I say so far, because charismatic authority fades as bureaucracy takes over, some refer it as routinization or simply the honeymoon. What that all really means is that someday you’ll have to do the job you were hired to do and then people will find out what your really made of.

Will people start asking Barack Obama what he is made of before he is hired as President? I’m not seeing it nor hearing of it; the press isn’t asking. All I hear is hope and change, hope and change, hope and change, hope and change.

I hope we see some change, I hope the press changes their attitude and I hope they start reporting exactly what Barack Obama is hoping to change.


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4 Responses to “Charismatic Authority”

  1. wally says:

    I didn’t compare “Osho” as you refer to him, to Jim Jones nor Hitler. And I wouldn’t, even though there was some muddy water regarding who did what at Rajneeshpuram and in the surrounding community. I would classify him as a charismatic leader though, and I put his photo in there as a sort of a throw back easter egg for those in the NW who were around in the Antelope era.

    I read a bit of Rajneesh’s work in the ’80’s, even spoke a bit with his second command, though I can’t recall her name now. I had a college room mate who contemplated moving to Antelope and at the time I was exploring a lot of religious and spiritual directions. I found the Bhagwan’s words and writings paraphrased biblical scripture, so I just passed him by as nothing uniquely mystic nor spiritual.

    As for complaining, I’ll wait and see what President Elect Obama does before I decide whether to praise or complain.

    PPP, did you hear that cougars don’t eat clowns?

    they taste funny

  2. Hitler was a vegetarian, too.

    Never trust a vegetarian.

    However it is wise to hike with vegetarians, as they taste better and you can run while the cougar eats them first…

  3. Jen says:

    Love the photo of Osho. Thanks. I find it hilarious that people compare Osho to Jim Jones and Hitler when nobody ever committed suicide at his direction and when he never even ate a piece of meat much less killed a person. In fact, thank goodness for people like Osho… and finally we have something to look forward to now that Bush is out. I think that you will see change soon… you do not see it yet because he is still president elect. When Obama comes into power and change happens… when we are out of Iraq then what will you be complaining about? I am sure you will find something.

  4. AFY says:

    Campaigns are a test of how someone will run their adminstration if elected so far Billary has demostrated that her adminstration would be a disaster!

    It took a Billary to get Obama, her negatives even with Demo-ers is totally too high, that will not be the case with the Mac.

    How the Mac and Obama runs their general elections, will be more of a deciding factor then anything else methinks, but it will be close in the end and every vote will count!