Posts Tagged ‘Obama’s’

Barack Obama’s Mythic Hero Image – An Appraisal

May 19th, 2015

A short history of primary newspapers, news web sites and television networks demonstrates, despite the fact it has been per month since the United States election, “Obamania” continues to be completely swing. Obama is now something of a favorite culture symbol, regarding the par of Madonna, Batman and stone movie stars. It’s then took place to me that Obama’s image and story could be compared to Joseph Campbell’s myth for the Hero, which Campbell called the “monomyth” (1). Whether consciously or unconsciously, individuals – and quite often Obama himself – tend to project this image upon him. Since 2006, he was called star and legend (2), and recently I have even read an online blog in which the writer called him ‘savior’! (3) Mind you, i am not laying a claim of profound originality with this – i came across then that George Lucas has made note of Obama following the Hero’s Journey (4) and there are two main bloggers that talked about it, albeit sketchily (5, 6). But I would like to consider this more in detail compared to the other people i’ve look over – which article will soon be lengthier than most others!

Let’s start with the start. For people who don’t know, Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) was one of the foremost mythologists of their age (7). He could be primarily remembered for his groundbreaking book, The Hero with 1000 Faces. It is in this one which he articulated the misconception of hero’s journey, which directly influenced George Lucas’ Star Wars, Disneyis the Lion King, and countless films and publications from the time (8). The book ‘deconstructs’ the journey associated with the hero in three parts. It really is my intention right here to compare these utilizing the story of Obama’s rise to power and Presidency.


As per Campbell’s analysis, the hero is some one obviously unique, singled out in some manner amongst his peers. Born of an African dad and white mother, Obama’s mixed history has marked him down as a ‘special’ individual immediately. Moreover, a characteristic of the Campbellian hero is he’s often put aside by their household as in the tale of Moses. This is an archetype Obama fits perfectly: he had been abandoned, only two years old, by their Kenyan father Barack Obama Sr, whom he met just once more in their lifetime. It has had a significant impact on him, according to his best-selling autobiography aspirations from my dad (9).

Component I: Departure

1. The Call to Adventure: the hero gets a beacon call, usually from another person (called a ‘herald’)

Obama defines a moment of self-awakening in their guide goals from my dad, when he realizes, after one-year work with a business firm, that his calling was to work with the indegent (10).

2. Refusal of this Call – often, the hero initially refuses the decision for action.

This might be an optional element in Campbell’s book that does not affect Obama, whom results in as an optimistic and committed person.

3. Supernatural help – the hero is aided by a protective figure that provides him support

In youth, Obama’s main support appear to have been his mother, Stanley Ann Durnham, and his grandfather Stanley Durnham, who acted as a surrogate dad (11). In politics, a significant figure had been Illinois State Senator Emil Jones, the leader associated with Democrats. Their spouse, whom Obama has called their ‘rock’ additionally had an essential influence on his political job.

4. The Crossing regarding the First Threshold – the hero must pass a first test to enter the latest world of heroic action

There were some key decisive moments in Obama’s life that shaped their future career as a politician. One was his decision after couple of years of attending Occidental university in Ca to move to Columbia University, in which he graduated in political science. Another, to find a low-paid job as a community organizer in Chicago. Thirdly, their choice after 2 yrs of employed in Chicago to go to Harvard Law School.

5. The Belly of Whale – the hero must move across an initiatory trial which involves a descent into a dark or dangerous realm

In Dreams of My Father, Obama provided their darkest moments while the hefty use of alcohol and drugs both at Punahou highschool as well as the Occidental College. Obama confessed to becoming a “pothead” so that you can “push concerns of whom I was from my mind” (12). In the course of time, however, he got their life in order by going from Occidental College to Columbia University.

Part II: Initiation

1. Path of Trials – succession of hurdles

Barack Obama has encountered a number of hurdles that he has surpassed in political ascendancy. The very first had been the candidature the Illinois State Senate in 1996, as he must eliminate better titled candidates. He succeeded, albeit making use of just what some critics stated as being unfair techniques – he effectively challenged the voting campaign of both applicants who were ergo legitimately suspended from the contest (13).

The next obstacle ended up being their failed candidacy to US House of Representatives in 2000, when he ended up being defeated by incumbent Bobby Rush by two to one. It was a sore defeat, the actual only real time when he considered giving up politics altogether (14). He did not, and Obama learned numerous of good use aspects of campaigning with this effort.

In 2004, he effectively run his candidacy for all of us Senate. Finally, in 2007, he obtained the recommendation of this Democrats for Presidency up against the better titled Hillary Clinton.

2. The ending up in the Goddess – marriage between the hero and a queenlike or mother-like figure

In 1988, Obama came across Michelle Robinson, an other Harvard Law graduate, while he was doing a summer internship at attorney Sidley Austin. He married the woman in 1992. Obama is deeply admirative of their wife, whom he called “his rock”. He talks of the girl, “there is one thing about the girl that tasks such honesty and energy. It is what makes her such an unbelievable professional, and partner, and mother, and spouse” (15).

3. Woman due to the fact Temptress – rejection of a powerful feminine figure

a read of Obama’s life demonstrates he seems to respect as well as admire female numbers. Very first had been their mother Stanley Ann; then there is Michelle Obama. Finally there were other political mentors like Alice Palmer (16). If there was one woman who Obama had to ‘reject’ it had been Hillary Clinton, his Democrat counter-candidate for Presidency. However, Obama couldn’t seem to harbor bad feelings toward Hillary, neither did she act in a ‘corruptive’ type of way toward Obama.

4. Atonement with the Father – reconciliation with all the tyrant and merciful facets of a father-like authority figure

As aspirations of My Father shows, Obama ended up being suffering from the absence of his dad, Barack Obama Sr (17). An important part of young Obama’s life ended up being taken by his effort to get together again their father’s lack along with his ever-present racial history.

5. Apotheosis – the hero’s expansion of self, or profound alteration for the perception of truth

Obama’s very first apotheosis ended up being their famed 2004 speech during the Democratic nationwide Convention, that could bring him in to the spotlight and alter the course of their profession. Obama’s final apotheosis ended up being his candidacy and success towards the bid the Democratic nomination in 2007.

6. Ultimate Boon – the hero obtains an integral product or success

His very first major victory ended up being their landslide victory in the US Senate in 2004; next, their Democratic nomination in 2007 and finally, their election as President in 2008.

Part III: Return

1. Refusal associated with Return – having accomplished enlightenment or bliss, the hero cannot wish to go back to the standard world

This is not the actual situation in Obama’s instance, since his success was gained into the ‘ordinary’ globe, maybe not some otherwordly or mythical land. Also, he’s got always been an ambitious figure, who does perhaps not settle in one spot but aim greater (18), (19).

2. Magic Flight – the hero might have to wrestle the ‘boon’

Obama had to pull all their stops in the Democratic presidential nomination of 2007, which needed to be wrestled from much better-titled Hillary Clinton.

3. Rescue from Without – the hero may need supernatural support to create the boon in to the ordinary world

There were several moments whenever Obama’s ‘lucky streak’ played in. It’s not a coincidence that Washington Post, in articles from August 2007, called their ascent to US Senate as “a few Fortunate Events” (20). They recorded how in 2004 his win for US Senate was aided by your choice of Peter Fitzgerald, the incumbent Senator, not to ever run for his own seat again, by the domestic punishment costs brought against Democrat counter candidate Blair Hull, who was the favorite for the chair just one single thirty days prior to the election and by Republican countertop candidate Jack Ryan’s domestic sex scandal. Obama in the course of time came into win the Senate chair by a landslide triumph: 70per cent (21).

4. Crossing the Return Threshold – the hero comes back to the ordinary globe

The ‘return threshold’ is without question the victory of this United states Presidency, that has been both challenging and confirmed – after his win associated with the Democrat nomination over Hillary Clinton.

5. Master of Two Worlds – the hero pertains the divine and peoples globes

After their political ascendancy and experience, Obama happens to be seen as fit to perform the USA and able to share his vision toward US people.

6. Freedom to call home – the hero bestows the boon to his fellows.

When he’s won the Presidency, Obama happens to be into the position of adding to the betterment of United states life and of increasing America’s tarnished image abroad.

Conclusions: Barack Obama’s story and image fits very well with Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” pattern, no matter if it doesn’t move in a linear fashion as Campbell designed it. This might be, all things considered, natural: Campbell ended up being disecting single-story fairy stories and publications, but Obama is real-life figure and his life goes beyond the imaginary.

On the other hand, taking care of worth noting is the fact that Campbell’s pattern doesn’t go beyond point 6 where in actuality the hero is within the position of bestowing the ‘boon’ to another people. Obama must go beyond the Campbellian heroic journey to the real work of sharing the boon. Presently, Obama is a hero due to their past, therefore the expression of modification, youth and racial unity that he symbolizes. But is their long-run work that’ll define him as a real hero.


(1) Campbell, J. (1949). The Hero with a lot of Faces. New York: Pantheon Books.
(6) Cocca, C. (2008). Barack Obama while the Hero’s Journey. On Line. Accessed on 11 Nov 2008.
(3) Edinger, R. (2008). Obama Rocks: America and the Planet. On Line. Accessed on 09 Nov 2008.
(2) Graff, G. (2006). The Legend of Barack Obama. The Washingtonian, 1 Nov. Accessed on 09 Nov 2008.
(11) Jones, T. (2004). Barack Obama: Mother Not Just a woman from Kansas. Chicago Herald Tribune, 27 Mar. Online. Accessed on 09 Nov 2008.
(9), (10), (12), (17) Obama, B. (2004). Aspirations from My Dad. Nyc: Three Streams Press.
(5) Snapp, M. (2008). Obama Walks the Hero’s Journey… Contra Costa Times. On Line. Accessed on 09 Nov 2008. ]
(4) The Huffington Post. (2008). George Lucas on Obama: A Hero within the Making. Online. Accessed on 09 Nov 2008.
(7), (8) Wikipedia. (2008). Joseph Campbell. On The Web. Accessed on 10 Nov 2008.
(13), (16) Jackson, D & Long, R. (2007). Barack Obama: Showing Their Bare Knuckles. Chicago Herald Tribune, 4 Apr. On The Web. Accessed on 09 Nov 2008.
(14), (20), (21) Mundy, L. (2007). Some Fortunate Activities. Washington Post, 12 Aug. On Line. Accessed on 10 Nov 2008.
(15) Parsons, C., Japsen, B. & Secter, B. Barack’s Rock: Michelle Obama. (2007). Chicago Herald Tribune, 22 Apr. Online. Accessed on 09 Nov 2008.
(18) Pearson, R. & Long, R. (2007)Barack Obama: Careful procedures, Looking Ahead. Chicago Herald Tribune, 3 Might. Accessed on 10 Nov 2008.
(19) Dorning, M. & Parsons, C. (2007). Very carefully Crafting the Barack Obama Brand. Chicago Herald Tribune, 12 Jun. On Line. Accessed on 10 Nov. 2008.

Jo Hedesan happens to be learning a MA in Western Esotericism at University of Exeter. She’s a part of European Society for the research of Esotericism (ESSWE) and United states Association for Study of Esotericism (ASE). She’s posted several log articles and contains presented papers at scholarly conferences regarding the subject of esotericism and history. She is composing a blog on esoteric topics and research at

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Berwick Sets Up Death Panels By Fiat
By Jeffrey Lord on 12.28.10 @ 6:09AM

"If they would rather die they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population." — Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Sarah Palin was right.

John Boehner — make that Speaker-elect of the House John Boehner — was right.

While Americans were busy celebrating with family and friends and presumably not paying attention to the news, the New York Times, in a story ironically dated Christmas Day — a holiday celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace — reported the following:

Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir

WASHINGTON — When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over "death panels," Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1.

In other words, the 2009 charge leveled by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and the then-House Minority Leader Boehner that Obama fully intended to set up what Palin termed government "death panels" — panels that Boehner said would set the government on the road to euthanasia — is no longer a charge.

It’s reality. By executive fiat — in this case a new Medicare rule issued by Obama Medicare chief Dr. Donald Berwick.

Palin, who made the charge on her Facebook page on August 7, 2009 during the health care debates, came under a fusillade of scornful and demeaning political attacks from political opponents after pointedly saying this about the prospect of death panels:

And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.

Her famous sharp criticism was enough for the plan to be quickly dropped by Congress.

Now, with Americans absorbed in a festive holiday and ignoring Washington momentarily, the Obama administration has found a way to achieve its death panel goal anyway, as the Times now admits. Says the paper of the new Christmas death panel regulation that replaces medical science and voluntary private judgment with the inevitable pressure of politicized health care :

Congressional supporters of the new policy, though pleased, have kept quiet. They fear provoking another furor like the one in 2009 when Republicans seized on the idea of end-of-life counseling to argue that the Democrats’ bill would allow the government to cut off care for the critically ill.

Which is another way of saying something else:

Governor Palin has been vindicated. Speaker Boehner has been vindicated.
And Palin’s critics in particular now have more than holiday eggnog all over their faces. Obama’s Dr. Berwick has re-ignited one of the most hotly controversial issues of the entire health care debate just as a conservative ascendancy prepares to take power in the next Congress. With no less than Boehner himself taking the gavel from Nancy Pelosi as the new Speaker of the House.

What does this new rule say and do, exactly?

It inserts the federal government in end-of-life planning, precisely as Palin said was Obama’s intention. Not, as was true of its original legislative formulation, every five years. But annually. No one of any sense objects to an individual and doctor having end-of-life discussions about living wills and such whenever they wish. Only the Obama administration and its obsession for control wants the government to incentivize the issue so that doctors must raise it annually, a system that on its face pressures the most deeply vulnerable of Americans in the most Orwellian of terms to end their lives.

Control and pressure. Pressure and control. This is the only two-step philosophical/political dance liberals know. It is, as it were, primal. And the Berwick Medicare rule, constructed in secret and released on Christmas Day when it no one is looking, is a perfect example — if hardly the only example — of how the Obama Administration views its role. Control and pressure. Pressure… and control.

Versus the conservative concept (shorthand version) of liberty and freedom.

Says the Times of the Obama Administration’s justification for its secretive move to mandate death panels by regulatory fiat:

In this case, the administration said research had shown the value of end-of-life planning.

Research? What research could possibly justify a government-sponsored annual attempt to pressure a poor, disabled, or elderly American into believing that they would be better off dead because they’re costing society too much money?

British research. Says the Times:

"Advance care planning improves end-of-life care and patient and family satisfaction and reduces stress, anxiety and depression in surviving relatives," the administration said in the preamble to the Medicare regulation, quoting research published this year in the British Medical Journal."

You read that right.

British research is being cited in the preamble of this Medicare death panel rule as a justification for the new rule — a stunning turn of events that will surely launch a firestorm over trying to remodel the American health care system after the hotly criticized British health care system. A system that makes no pretense of politically rationed health care.

Part of the furor launched over Palin’s remarks was the discovery by millions of frightened Americans that Obama health care bureaucrats admired the British health care system — where the government in fact rations health care on a political basis and decides who should live or die based on what is called the "QALY" — Quality-Adjusted Life Year. This has been discussed previously in this space — in fact just over a week before Governor Palin wrote her Facebook statement. It has also been discussed by health care consultant David Catron here where he explained how the QALY system worked.

In Catron’s words: "A year of perfect health, for example, is given a value of 1.0 while a year of sub-optimum health is rated between 0 and 1. If you are confined to a wheelchair, a year of your life might be valued at half that of your ambulatory neighbor. If you are blind or deaf, you also score low. All that remains is to assign a specific dollar value to the QALY and, voilà, your life has a price tag."

Princeton’s controversial Dr. Peter Singer, a liberal and big believer in the British health care system, happily related the British politicization of medical decisions in a New York Times Magazine article during all of this, an instance in which "Britain’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence gave a preliminary recommendation that the National Health Service should not offer Sutent for advanced kidney cancer." Why? The government said it was too expensive and therefore simply denied the drug. This in turn led to a furious reaction even from stiff-upper-lip Brits with charges their government was "immoral" and willing to let patients die. Grudgingly, the drug was eventually approved. But not before one angry British woman, whose husband’s life was at stake, angrily asked: "What price is life?"
As this is written the Obama Food and Drug Administration is now taking Americans down this same path, rejecting the breast cancer drug Avastin with what many are citing as unbelievable science — but very believable political concerns that the drug is, in the bureaucrats’ view, too expensive. Thereby inserting the judgment of political bureaucrats for medical science — and the freedom of patients to order the drug. Here’s this from the Heartland Institute:

According to Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, the FDA’s decision is not based on the best outcome for patients but instead on the expense of Avastin, produced by Genentech, which can run as high as ,000 per year for a single patient.

The FDA claims its decision had nothing to do with Avastin’s cost and was based solely on the drug’s medical effectiveness," Pipes said. "This isn’t believable. Every year about 40,000 American women die from breast cancer. Avastin is the last hope for many not to meet that fate. While the drug is costly, it often provides immense benefits to patients.

Somewhere an American woman with breast cancer is surely saying the same thing as her British counterpart: "What price is life?"

Singer had an answer. Really. Said the famous Bioethics professor: "Life as a whole has no meaning. Life began, as the best available theories tell us, in a chance combination of gasses; it then evolved through random mutation and natural selection. All this just happened; it did not happen to any overall purpose."

Thus, since life really has no overall purpose, the government should be in the business of using Medicare to pressure the poor, the disabled and the elderly that — nudge, nudge — isn’t it time to bid the planet hasta la vista?

WHICH BRINGS US TO DR. DONALD BERWICK himself, the Obama administration’s Medicare recess-appointed head of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Dr. Berwick personally issued the Christmas Death Panel Rule, confirming in spades why he received a recess appointment from Obama. It was clear to Senate Democrats that Berwick’s chances of surviving a Senate confirmation battle were iffy at best. Why? Precisely because Berwick was well on record as expressing his deep admiration — make that lust — for the British government run system, saying: "I am romantic about the National Health Service; I love it. … The NHS is one of the astounding human endeavors of modern times."

So Obama waited until he could skip a Senate debate and vote entirely and just recess-appoint Berwick — who in turn is doing exactly what his record suggested he would do.

Sure enough, the philosophy used by the British is precisely what Berwick used to describe the new Berwick Rule. Reported the Times of Berwick:

"Using unwanted procedures in terminal illness is a form of assault," Dr. Berwick has said. "In economic terms, it is waste. Several techniques, including advance directives and involvement of patients and families in decision-making, have been shown to reduce inappropriate care at the end of life, leading to both lower cost and more humane care."


What do we have here?

• The death panels were written into the original version of ObamaCare.

• Governor Palin, speaking out in her famous Facebook post, pulled back the shroud surrounding this horrifying idea. Less noticed at the time — but undoubtedly a headline grabber now — Minority Leader Boehner agreed, citing alarm over government sponsored euthanasia. Said Boehner:

Section 1233 of the House-drafted legislation encourages health care providers to provide their Medicare patients with counseling on "the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration" and other end of life treatments, and may place seniors in situations where they feel pressured to sign end of life directives they would not otherwise sign. This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia if enacted into law.

Obama protested he had no intention of "pulling the plug on Grandma" — but the idea, embodied in Section 1233 of the House version of the bill, was pulled from the final bill in part because of Palin’s — and Boehner’s — focused attention.

• Obama installs Dr. Donald Berwick to head the Medicare program as a recess appointment because Berwick’s controversial enthusiastic embrace of the British health care system and its death panel procedures would have prevented his confirmation.

• On Christmas day 2010, the Times reports the death panel idea will become a Medicare rule on January 1, 2011 — that would be four days from today. How? By fiat. As a government Medicare "rule" or "regulation" as put forth by the government agency now run by Dr. Berwick. The rule is justified because Berwick believes the government must "reduce inappropriate care at the end of life" A Berwick spokesman says the government should be saying to elderly patients, vulnerable patients, disabled patients — patients like Sarah Palin’s famous Down’s syndrome son: "When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?" Nudge.

• Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, a pro-life educational organization, says of the new rule: "The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking. Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life."

Oh yes. Did we mention no one was supposed to know about all of this?

Congressman Earl Blumenauer, the Oregon Democrat who wrote the original provision in the House version of ObamaCare that was unmasked by Sarah Palin, has put the word out to his allies. Says the Congressman’s office in an e-mail to his allies:

While we are very happy with the result, we won’t be shouting it from the rooftops because we aren’t out of the woods yet. This regulation could be modified or reversed, especially if Republican leaders try to use this small provision to perpetuate the "death panel" myth.

We would ask that you not broadcast this accomplishment out to any of your lists, even if they are "supporters" — e-mails can too easily be forwarded…Thus far, it seems that no press or blogs have discovered it, but we will be keeping a close watch and may be calling on you if we need a rapid, targeted response. The longer this goes unnoticed, the better our chances of keeping it.

No wonder Blumenauer wants to keep this quiet.

Did you catch that word "us" in the sentence from Dr. Berwick’s spokesperson?

Here’s the sentence again:

When the time comes, do you want us to use technology to try and delay your death?

The word "us" refers not to a doctor and his patient. It refers to the government..

When Obama health care adviser Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel was cited by longtime health care expert Betsy McCaughey as discussing the idea that patients with dementia should be denied treatment, Emanuel’s defenders (he is also the brother of ex-Obama White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel) floated a Time magazine story saying Emanuel "only mentioned dementia in a discussion of theoretical approaches, not an endorsement of a particular policy." Oblivious to the fact that that no less than the President himself expressed a version of the same sentiment (as has Berwick) when he went on national television to answer a woman’s observation that at over a hundred her mother was very vital with a lot of spirit, and shouldn’t that be taken into account in any government health care decision? Said Obama: "I don’t think that we can make judgments based on peoples’ spirit. That would be a pretty subjective decision to be making. I think we have to have rules…."

Government rules. Like the rule just issued by Dr. Berwick.
A rule that effectively is now going to bully individuals — doubtless many of them poor, disabled or elderly. Ironically creating a system where you will only escape Obama’s government sponsored Big Chill if you are, say, a rich liberal.

In effect the administration is trying to bully Congress by making an end-run with a regulation because Congress said no to Section 1233.

The Heritage Foundation has accurately noted yesterday that, quite aside from the substance here — the new Berwick death panel rule or the FCC’s new net neutrality rules and so on — the real issue is the Obama administration’s clear intent to govern by executive fiat now that it has lost control of the House and, effectively, the Senate as well. Government-by-Obama fiat will be the subject of a furious struggle in the new Congress.

Says Heritage by way of focusing on a return to government by elected officials rather than a central government of rule-making un-elected bureaucrats:

"There is also the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to review and overrule regulations issued by government agencies."

Which is to say, the Berwick rule can be undone — if the Congress orders it undone.

This episode is a reminder that Governor Palin took a lot of heat for bringing attention to this issue. No one expects her critics — now proven wrong by Berwick — to give her any credit for being right. Or for that matter to the new Speaker Boehner.

But the fact remains that Palin has shown leadership here — one might call it presidential-style leadership — in persisting with an issue that is now coming back to bite the American people in the form of a new Medicare rule on death panels — reported of all days on Christmas day.

No wonder John Boehner will be Speaker of the House.

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