I would like to start off by saying that I have nothing against Barack Obama as a man, nor do I reject the merits of him as a politician. He has fulfilled the true American dream, working his way up the ladder from the son of a single mother in Hawaii to a student at Columbia and Harvard to the President of the United States. He is an intelligent, articulate, tolerant, and open-minded man, with excellent leadership qualities. He is a husband and a father. If he had not been elected in this most recent election, I have no doubt it would not have taken much longer ‚Äď as he became a more experienced politician ‚Äď to indeed have been elected. I may disagree with him on many of his policies, but I respect him as a man. However, we vote for politicians, not just men. It is in many of President Obama‚Äôs supporters where my discontent lies. From the time he set foot on the stage at the 2004 Democratic National Convention as a State Senator from Illinois, there has been a fascination with the man unseen in decades, only intensifying as the 2008 election drew closer. Many who voted this past November for President Obama did so because they felt he would be a more effective leader than Senator McCain and would offer a better course of action at this time in our country‚Äôs history; these voters I respect. There was another group who voted (or, in some cases, were too young to vote but were all too engaged in the mania surrounding the man) in favor of President Obama, though. This group fed the ‚Äúchange‚ÄĚ machine, throwing their support behind the man who was not a Republican ‚Äď apparently being one of those, they figured, meant you had to be an incarnation of the devil (Former President Bush), or an evangelical hick (Governor Palin). The more extreme sect of this group, numerous indeed, were those voters who valued the man of Barack Obama over the politician of the then- Senator Obama. To them, it was not the office of the Presidency that was important, but rather the charisma of the man who would hold it. The latter is a fine reason to support a strong religious or civil rights leader (Martin Luther King), but not a valid justification for electing a man to be President. And all too often, I found President Obama masquerading as the Moses who would lead the poor out of poverty, the socially oppressed to the head of society. All to the joy and thrill of his ever-enthusiastic supporters. Whether this was the type of campaign President Obama wanted to run or not is of no consequence, as the fact of the matter is, he rode the wave all the way to the shore. He made little noticeable effort to push back the racial overtones surrounding his campaign, and by not doing so, he secured the vast majority of the black vote in the election. Was the slogan ‚ÄúYes We Can‚ÄĚ a call for victory in an election campaign, or a racially-motivated call fit for a civil rights protest, not a run for office? This I never fully understood throughout the months and months President Obama crisscrossed the country. What‚Äôs a revolutionary movement for change without, well, something to change? What was really in need to dire change, and not just a policy adjustment? This too I never wrapped my mind around. President Obama constantly catered to what this voting group wanted: change ‚Äď but was it really a change in ‚Äúpolitics as usual,‚ÄĚ as President Obama usually put it, or a change in the run of 43 stuffy white men as Presidents? In order to the former fly, Obama had to batter the merits of his predecessor at every turn in his campaign. The more things went wrong in America, the more it was blamed on Former President Bush. The more things were blamed on Former President Bush, the more disgusted the public would become with contemporary American politics. The more disgusted the public became, the more President Obama‚Äôs message of change resonated, meaning President Obama could greater emphasize the failures of the Bush administration ‚Äď for surely it was an utter failure that ruined our country and caused the rest of the world to hate us with every fiber of their being. The voters took a heaping spoonful of this at every turn, but it was truly his promise of empowerment that won popular support. Much to President Obama‚Äôs benefit, a cult of personality formed around the man (not the politician). Come time for his election and then his inauguration, his supporters were every bit sucked in, chanting his name, wearing pins that featured only his portrait, and even tattooing the man‚Äôs face on arms. Are these people doing this because they think he would make a good politician to carry out the political duties of the President, or because he is a figure that has overstated the severity of the present American condition and promised dramatic social and (political) upheaval as a cure? Is it President Obama‚Äôs fault, though? Or have so many embraced his message in a sense that it was not meant to be taken, leading to expectations which many have called astronomically high? The reality is, President Obama is in no way more supremely qualified for his job than any other of his past competitors, from Senator Clinton and Senator McCain, but for whatever reason, he is the lone competitor who got the celebrity treatment known to few of our past Presidents. I do not know whether or not President Obama will turn out to have succeeded or to have failed (obviously I want to see President Obama generally succeed, which would mean the implementation of some non-Democratic policies which I support), but I do know that there is a giant contingent out there which is already hell-bent that he will be one of the greatest and most influential figures in history. I can only wonder how long it will take for those dancers and revelers and chanters to realize that they did not vote for a politician, but they voted for a man. Politics, economics, and public policy, whether President Obama intended for it or not, have taken a backseat to a cult of personality.