Like Obama, my ex-husband, who I'll call Sam (not his real name) was a blank slate upon whom I projected all my hopes and dreams. Only in hind-sight did I realize that my perceptions and expectations were a product of my own imagination, with little connection to reality.
Obama burst onto the national scene out of no-where. Millions of Americans naturally assumed that a man running for the highest office in the land had undergone the necessary vetting and was of high character. Since Obama had the official approval of the media, he was accepted, without question or investigation, by fully half of all Americans.
Likewise, I accepted without question that Sam was worthy of both my trust and respect. Being a judge, I assumed Sam had been vetted and been found worthy. He had society's approval, having been given the right to add "The Honorable" to his name. I accepted Sam's label as fact, without question. And counted myself lucky to have found a man of such high character.
During the course of our marriage, I was loath to acknowledge any facts that were at variance with the image I constructed of Sam. (Just as millions of Obama voters still do.) I had invested my hopes and dreams, trust and respect into this image, and any facts to the contrary were ignored. Even when Sam started showing signs of 'The God Complex' and began abusing the trust of his judicial office.
On one occasion, Sam awarded $500,000 in a case that he had previously informed me was worth only $50,000. When I asked him why, Sam said, "Because L… asked me to." L… was the plaintiff's lawyer and Sam's good buddy.
On one level, I knew Sam was wrong to do this. I was then faced with a choice of having my dreams shattered by an ugly reality or continuing to fool myself. I opted to compartmentalize. As in, ignore any evidence that didn't accord with my earlier perceptions.
I had made Sam into a white knight, a hero, a man I could respect. To maintain that illusion, I routinely started ignoring the increasing indicators that maybe I had been wrong to do so. I ignored the growing disconnect between his words and his actions. I just couldn't bear to have my dreams shattered. Much like the many devotees of Obama whose carefully constructed image of Obama would be shattered if they acknowledged Obama's many imperfections, that are just now becoming apparent.
Very few men remain unchanged when given power over other men. When everyone laughs at all your jokes, pretty soon you convince yourself you are pretty funny. When surrounded 24/7 by yes men and the trappings of power, its only natural to start thinking you're superior to others, that the rules that govern ordinary men don't apply. This happened to Sam, just as it is happening to Obama.
It is true that power corrupts most men. It was also true, in my case, that Sam's increased arrogance and his flouting of the law became secondary to my need to maintain my illusions. To admit that Sam was a mere mortal, a flawed mortal, was unthinkable. What did that say about me? That would mean that I was pretty stupid. That would mean acknowledging my naivete and gullibility. I chose not to do that.
After three years of marriage, Sam tired of me. With 20/20 hindsight, I realize he did me a favor, but that didn't lessen the pain of divorce. It took another five years before I was able to admit and accept that Sam had never been worthy of my respect. I realized that my love for him was based more on my need to see the world the way I envisioned it instead of the way it really was.
I only hope it doesn't take that long for Obama's supporters to realize the same thing. Granted, reality is painful, but in today's dangerous world, illusions are a luxury America can ill afford.
Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for conservative news site RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina