Monday, May 24, 2010

America's 'Cargo Cult' Administration

A few years ago, Dan Jacoby wrote a piece criticizing President George W. Bush as trying to emulate Ronald Reagan, without any knowledge as to how Reagan operated. Jacoby referred to Bush as the "Cargo Cult President." This piece was retrofitted to our current president a few months ago as the summary of it was covered on the Rush Limbaugh show, and that particular comparison was much more accurate than the original Jacoby piece in 2004.
I believe it would be fair and accurate to extend this comparison to Obama's entire administration, as he and all of his advisers have virtually no real life experience in capitalism, and yet want all its goodies to magically appear if they simply go through the motions, all the while they demonize the very system that provides their coveted yet elusive prosperity.
If you are not familiar with the term 'cargo cult,' it refers to the primitive native peoples in the Pacific Islands and remote areas whose territories were pressed into service during WWII to service the U.S. Pacific Fleet, in addition to the Japanese Imperial Navy. These native people would watch as these foreigners (both Japanese and American troops) moved in, and subsequently build landing strips and control towers. Then as if by magic, planes would land on these strips full of food, water, supplies, gasoline, clothing, etc. Much of it would be distributed to the indigenous populations in addition to serving the war effort.
After the war ended, these foreigners left, and so did all of their goodies. Not wanting to interrupt this gravy train, the natives would ape the behaviors of those foreigners in hopes of making the magic planes arrive again. They would build bamboo 'control towers,' clear rudimentary, crude 'landing strips' out of the jungle, and talk into crude 'microphones', hoping that this behavior would entice the goodies to reappear, but in reality they had absolutely no understanding of the actual nature of where all these goodies came from. They had to assume it came from out of the sky, (presumably from the 'gods' ). These cults persisted in mimicking these behaviors for years and in some cases decades after the shipments ended.
Obama and his staff, cabinet and czars all are behaving in much the same way as these 'cargo cults' did, aping the soaring rhetoric of public figures of the past, such as FDR, Reagan, and Clinton, without having even a basic understanding of free market capitalism. Obama clearly seems unfazed to his profligate spending on social programs as to where all of these trillions of dollars are eventually going to come from: 'the gods', maybe.
Obama and his administration have no experience generating capital, creating jobs, meeting payrolls and all other tasks involved in creating wealth. Obama himself, along with his entire cabinet are products of academia, where Utopian philosophies and untried or impractical (but nice sounding) theories abound. None of them will ever work, nor ever have worked if implemented anywhere, but they continue to foist these foolish pie in the sky policies (unfunded) on our system, to be paid in real dollars, and not phony pie in the sky dollars, by our grand and great grand children.
These dreamers are simple fools who somehow have taken control of our country, and now are governing much like a 'cargo cult:' aping the behaviors (or more accurately, the rhetoric) of past leaders, without understanding the philosophy and capitalistic efforts behind them, and yet genuinely hoping for prosperity that will never come.
It didn't work for any of those 'cargo cults,' either, but some still persist waiting for the gods to shower them with cases of C-rations, just like the good old days.


Christopher said...

Excellent post!

Anonymous said...

Most excellent post!

Obama and his cabinet remind me of kids playing White House.

Fredd said...


Yes, exactly. My image was of little kids who stick their little tiny feet into a pair of daddy's shoes, and walk around, exclaiming to anyone within earshot, 'look at me, I'm daddy!"

Only these imbeciles are actually calling the shots.

Joe said...

President BO and Friends have proven time and time again that they haven't a clue. Their approach is that of a college sophomore: full of vain, ehterial philosophy with not a trace of substance.

With that, they are willing to take down this country.

Fredd said...


I am pretty confident that, although this stupid administration will deal our country a mighty blow, they will not succeed in taking this country down, we won't let them.

El Cerdo Ignatius said...

Fredd: This is a brilliantly written post, drawing a near-perfect analogy between the Pacific islanders and the Obama administration. Spot on! Well done, sir.

I have heard President Obama described on the radio as an economic illiterate, and on my own blog I have called him clueless on economic issues (even before his ridiculous election win). But 'Cargo Cult President' draws a better picture than any other expression.

Fredd said...


This guy is so out of his league in economics, he couldn't even run a successful lemonade stand, much less General Motors. Or America, for that matter.

the malcontent said...

Great job Fredd.

Unbelievable.. as I said in my blog, Bring the troops home. The war is over, we lost!

Dan said...

Excellent post. I covet your writing abilities. A book in your future?

Anyway, I have this thing I call neon words. They stand out and cause me to pay attention to what is being said. One of those words is "somehow".

That brings me to this statement:

"These dreamers are simple fools who somehow have taken control of our country..."

The somehow is that he was put there by a population that, even though they have to work for their good and shelter, are at heart when it comes to government "cargo cults". They are the result of the co-opting of the government schools and decades of cognitive dissonant socialistic indoctrination, an indoctrination that Obama himself is suffering from.

BTW I have never heard of this term "cargo cult". Great analogy.

Fredd said...

Touche, Dan.

Very interesting suggestion that we, the voting population, are responsible for creating our 'cargo cult administration.' Although you left out much of the meat of this comparison, I would guess that you mean that we, as a cargo cult population ourselves, have seen great government at work in this country (for the most part, there are exceptions)since its founding.

We don't really look deep enough into who we elected as leaders as those of our grand parents, great grandparents, etc., who vetted the ne-er-do-wells that would aspire to the highest offices. We just took it on faith that if we elected a spectacular orator, he would automatically set the ship straight.

Now us 'cargo cult' Americans, getting impatient for results of our going through the motions of putting in this 'great man' in office, are reaping the exact same rewards that those Pacific Island cargo cults got by ineptly aping the motions involved in a technically complex airlift operation: nothing.

Is that what you meant, Sir Dan?

Dan said...

That's it, except that when we aped the motions of the federal government nothing didn't happen; collection agencies began ringing our phones all the wall and knocking at our door.

the malcontent said...

Obama vows 'we will not rest' until oil spill cleaned up ..

Did he not Rest on the first Vacation he took since this Spill?
Now he's on his second vacation since the spill over a month ago and he decided since it was finally getting fixed he'd drop by and claim credit... I don't care who you are... If you complained about the Bush response to Katrina then you should be OUTRAGED at this... Are you?