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Stop Laughing At the Cultists in North Korea

It’s too bad that this essay by Meghan Cox Gurdon at the Wall Street Journal is gated.  It is outstanding on many different levels.  In it, Gurdon discusses two new children’s books on Hillary Clinton – books that, as Gurdon points out, are very much like the kinds of hagiographic idiocy churned out by the North Koreans to portray their “leaders” as god-like presences.

What’s scariest about the phenomenon that Gurdon identifies in these books that glorify Hillary Clinton is not that they are published in America and written about an American who stands a very good chance of becoming the 45th president of the executive branch of the national government.  What’s scariest is that these books reveal just how susceptible human beings are to hero-worship – to a yearning to be ruled by, and (hence) to prostrate themselves before, other human beings who, for one reason or another, are stupidly glorified and elevated into near-deities in the minds of those yearning to be ruled.

Here are some slices from Gurdon’s essay:

Two new picture books put such a gloss on the life and career of the presumptive Democratic Party nominee for president that book editors in Pyongyang could take a few tips from them. In the doctrine of these tales for children 4 to 8, not only has the mark of greatness been upon Hillary Clinton since her birth, but she has also been the liberator of her people—that is, of women.

Michelle Markel’s “ Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Born to Lead” (HarperCollins) begins with an alarming account of the darkness that enfolded this land as recently as the 1950s, when, horrible to relate, “it was a man’s world. Only boys could grow up to have powerful jobs. Only boys had no ceilings on their dreams. Girls weren’t supposed to act smart, tough, or ambitious.”


From this fabulously pompous opening, the book leads, ultimately, to a silhouette of Mrs. Clinton against a golden sunrise—and the promise that she “may soon change the world.”

These vainglorious picture-book renditions of the life story of an American machine politician give an illuminating glimpse into the mind-set of those who offer themselves as cogs in that machine. Like the Kim family’s posters in North Korea, they are so richly and inadvertently comic that only true believers or the very young and trusting could find them persuasive. Unfortunately, it is the very young for whom these works are intended.