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Socialism – the pitch and the purpose, Part 3

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

“The Anointed,” a term I’ve borrowed from Thomas Sowell, perfectly fits the next group of players we need to credit as we explore the drama of socialism. The anointed exist at many levels and in every sphere of influence.

You know some small-time anointed locally. That person down the street with the green thumb that you go to for advice on raising flowers. The person in your neighborhood who knows how to get things done in the county government. You have many local anointed who deserve the moniker from experience, performance, respect or some other attribute.

These are not necessarily the ones we are talking about here. We are talking about ones who have risen to the national or international stage and are revered by multitudes. For certain people, for instance, former Senator John Kerry, now Biden’s “United States special presidential envoy for climate” (what does that mean?) is an anointed one. For others, an anointed is former president Trump. Many, many others abound. It seems as though in our world today, psychologists have become an anointed profession.

The dictionary definition I think best fits here is “to designate as if by ritual anointment.” A powerful force that serves this function is the press – written, internet, television. If you are anointed by the press, you are surely anointed without question for many people.

If enough people tell someone often enough that they are special, they start believing it themselves. This is called hubris, defined as “excessive pride or self-confidence.”

Disgraced New York governor Andrew Cuomo had and may be still having an extraordinary dose of self-confidence, causing him to think he was above the law and common decency.

One of the dangers with the anointed is that, while they may indeed be extraordinary in their perspicacity in one narrow subject, their followers, and then they (because of positive reinforcement from their followers) think that their special expertise cross-pollinates and transfers to other subjects of concern with the same level of knowledge and authority.

One may see Tiger Woods, for instance, as an anointed on the subject of golf, but would not likely view him as an expert on marriage. In this example, the lack of cross pollination and transference fails for everyone, including Woods himself, I suspect.

Hollywood is full of the anointed who mistakenly think, and so do a significant portion of their followers, that just because they are very good at memorizing lines, putting the right inflection in their voice, making the proper hand gestures at the proper time and wearing their makeup well, that they can speak with authority on any subject, including plastic soda straws, inner-city crime enforcement and Che Guevara.

Of course, nearly everyone, often especially the young, have Che Guevara wrong. He may have been a good guy and anointed at one point in his life, but the latter part was that of a murderous thug. By the way, I have eaten at a restaurant that now occupies the former home of a Norwegian princess who hid him. I kid you not. This restaurant/home is in Panajachel, Guatemala where she lived. Many Che Guevara stories there, and they are not flattering. He doesn’t deserve a T-shirt.

So, the world is full of the anointed who can usually garner many followers and whose followers often only superficially, e.g., in the case of Che Guevara, examine their bona fides.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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