From the outset, Barack Obama presents himself to the public, the American people with a messianic message. His message is rooted in the American dream. Obama’s campaign is nothing less than a movement. His movement carries a messianic overtone, signaling the time for change has arrived in the American soil. The Obama encountered in the present is a prophet who announces the urgent need to transform and change the American political system. His message coheres both with great men of the past and various former American figures. This Obama thus is not primarily a social reformer with a revolutionary message; nor is he another presidential (candidate) innovator radically redefining the traditional ideas and practices of the American politics. His urgent message is not the present so much as the near future in view. For Obama, the future of this great nation we call America is now.
Further, what distinguishes Obamas’ prophetic message from those of others is primarily its timetable, not its content. Like John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, W.E. Dubois, and a few others he emphasizes hope and change in the present. “Charisma” is the term that is best described Obama’s movement of hope and change.
The term ‘charisma’ was coined by renowned sociologist, Max Weber. Weber applied the term to Jesus’ activities recorded in the Gospels: his relations with his disciples, followers and his environs. Nonetheless, the term ‘charisma’ is a sociological expression that bears the idea to have ‘great/extraordinary influence’ on people. Thus, Weber defined Jesus’ ministry as such. He construes the messianic mission of Jesus to have such bearing. Though, Barack Hussein Obama is not Jesus and should not be elevated in such status. Nonetheless, he presents himself as a messianic figure to the American people –one who can unify various dividing lines in America. In addition, the term “charisma” always develops in interactions. So Obamas’ charisma is also evident in his relation to both democrats and independents, even the obamacans welcome his message. Hence, Obama could say, “We have been waiting for so long for the time when we could finally expect more from our politics, when we could give more of ourselves and feel truly invested in something bigger than a candidate or cause. This is it: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, we are the ones that we seek.” Repeatedly he says to the American people,
“The Democratic Party must stand for change, not change as a slogan, change we can believe in.” Amen!