“Honestly, I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.”
—Britney Spears, September 3, 2003, answering this question: “A lot of entertainers have come out against the war in Iraq. Have you?”
“So what should I think about [the war in Libya]? If it had been my call, I wouldn’t have gone into Libya. But the reason I voted for Obama in 2008 is because I trust his judgment. And not in any merely abstract way, either: I mean that if he and I were in a room and disagreed about some issue on which I had any doubt at all, I’d literally trust his judgment over my own. I think he’s smarter than me, better informed, better able to understand the consequences of his actions, and more farsighted.”
That form of submission is a definitively religious act, not a political one (Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding“). Venerating a superior being and blindly following its will is a natural human impulse, as it frees one of the heavy burden of decision-making and moral and intellectual judgment, and it also creates a feeling of safety and protection (hence the cross-cultural and sustained strength of religion, as well as the potent appeal of both political authoritarianism and personality cults).
But “thinking” that way is an absolute abdication of the duties of citizenship, which compel holding leaders accountable and making informed judgment about their actions (it’s a particularly bizarre mindset for someone who seeks out a platform and comments on politics for a living). It’s also dangerous, as it creates a climate of unchecked leaders who bask in uncritical adoration…