Another Tack: Patent-medicine messiah

Old-time American cure-all: the panacea-peddlers’ sweetened solutions were good for nothing [Courtesy]A quip in a private conversation got Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon into hot water. Quite a hullabaloo was stirred up by his suggestion that US Secretary of State John Kerry may be messianic in his obsessive keenness to impose a pseudo-solution upon us.

Ya’alon’s observation can, plausibly, be interpreted on several levels. It may be that Ya’alon perceives Kerry as naively putting his trust in visions of an unrealistic deliverance and the advent of an irrationally idealized era of peace and prosperity. That would be bad enough.

But higher up on the scariness scale is the possibility that Kerry isn’t just another gullible sap. He may have assumed for himself the role of savior. In psychology this is known as the “messianic complex,” categorized with analogous aberrations under the “grandiose delusions” disorder.

Of course the most chilling likelihood is that Kerry is neither of the above but that he is a realpolitik cynic who merely pretends to conjure a messianic miracle. Like old-time Midwestern snake-oil salesmen and purveyors of syrupy elixirs, Kerry in our day knows full well that he is bamboozling the Mideasterners on whom he calls with exasperating frequency. Continue reading