All celebrities are famous, it is true, but not all famous people are celebrities. To cite just one example, George W. Bush is famous. But he is no celebrity. Celebrities belong to the pop culture. Usually, a celebrity is mostly loved. Yet even when that celebrity is hated, it is not a real hatred to which he is subjected. It is an obsession, a hatred that the haters love. As such, as long as the obsession endures, those who do the obsessing will do anything to make sure that their objects remain in full view of the public.
The Obamas know this well. This, once more, explains why they ache to be celebrities.
There is a third and final reason why the President and First Lady insist upon making their faces seen and voices heard all throughout the culture. They have a desire—one shared by leftists for centuries—to erase the boundaries that modern Western states have drawn between political and non-political arenas of life.
Seeing the President and First Lady at nationally and globally-televised sporting events and Hollywood ceremonies makes it all that much easier for the average American to think that there is virtually no area of his life that excludes, or should exclude, government intervention. As feminists have been saying for decades, the personal is political, and the political is personal. To be sure, the Obamas want to make sure that every American believes this.
This can’t be stated strongly enough: if Republicans really do want to win national elections again, then they need to understand just how and why their opponents think as they do.
At the same time, they might also want to consider that this approach to politics has proven successful for the Obamas.
Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at Beliefnet.com: At the Intersection of Faith & Culture. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or friend him on facebook. You can also follow him on twitter.