Obama-mania and cult of self-esteem: The phenomenon of Senator Barack Obama's campaign is astounding. He has packaged policies largely indistinguishable from those of John Edwards or Hillary Clinton in airy platitudes about "change" and "hope," and suddenly he's a rock star - complete with swooning and fainting fans at his huge campaign rallies. … Conventional wisdom says this adulation and intensity level cannot last. But conventional wisdom may be missing something fundamental.
His evident charisma aside, a clue to the source of Obama-mania may be found in the demographics of his support: he is far and away the favorite of younger voters and college students, routinely winning over 75% of the votes of Democrats under 30. Obama has tapped into is the first generation educated in schools focused on "self-esteem." Now, the products of self-esteem education have come of political age in substantial numbers, perhaps with profound implications for this and future elections.