Victor Davis Hanson: The Uncool President

Roundup: Historians' Take

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of the  recently released The End of Sparta. You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.

...The greatest problem facing Obama, however, is not just his mediocre record of governance, but the growing public perception that he is as uncool in 2012 as he was cool in 2008. Voters no longer feel they’re square for voting against Obama. Instead, it’s becoming the “in” thing to shrug that enough is enough.

A common theme of classic American tales such as The RainmakerElmer GantryThe Music Man, and The Wizard of Oz is popular anger unleashed at Pied Piper–like messiahs who once hypnotized the masses with promises of grandeur.

The bamboozled people rarely fault their own gullibility for their swooning over hope-and-change banalities, but rather, once sober, turn with fury on the itinerant messiahs who made them look so foolish. In other words, it is not just the economy, foreign policy, poor debating skills, or a so-so campaign that now plagues Obama, but the growing public perception that voters were had in 2008 and that it now is okay — even cool — to no longer believe in him....

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