Okay, so Obama is President Elect… Now what?
*The following entry is a riff of sorts, written after listening to “Propositions and Meaning,” a lecture by Prof. Brooks Landon.
Barak Obama: Change we can believe in
The President Elect’s campaign slogan seemed very straightforward. It posits, or proposes, that Obama is a man who will bring change we can believe in. Seems simple enough; however, it also posits the following:
- We need change, but in no way defines that change.
- Barak Obama can bring change, implying that he knows what needs to be changed and is able to do anything about it.
- His change is the only change that can or should be believed in.
I celebrated with [most of] the World the night Barak Obama was elected the next President of the United States, but now that some of the election-night euphoria has wound down, I have some thoughts.
For instance, ask Gays and Lesbians in California who the next President is and they probably won’t give a fuck because while the U.S. was “changing” they got served a mouthful of Constitution Confetti.
The day after Obama’s inauguration, there will still be a lousy U.S. (read “World”) economy; wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; a return to Soviet-era politics in Russia; an Iranian government that would love to nuke the Jews; and handfuls of illiterate, sexually repressed, quasi-Muslims running around blowing things up. That is a lot that needs changing.
French poet, Arthur Rimbaud, once suggested that until we had a completely new language, nothing truly original would ever be written.
I would never liken Barak Obama to the Khmer Rouge but let’s not forget that they wanted change too and killed an estimated 1/3 of the Cambodian population trying to ring in that change. The problem has to do with the medium. If you are building out of wood, cement, and/or Lego blocks, you can only build on the abilities and limitations of the available material. If government is the medium, how much change can Obama truly bring about? Let’s not forget the “NAFTA Memo,” in which, an Obama aide assures the Canadian government that Obama’s speeches on revisiting NAFTA “should be viewed as more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.” When this memo hit the newswire, the Canadian insider who leaked it was vilified by the Canadian government instead of being hailed as a voice for political honesty: “Welcome to the Old Boys’ Club, Senator. Your chair is waiting.”
I am glad that Obama, not McCain, will be the next President of the United States and I want to believe that he is sincere in his drive for change. But… when the Russians prepare for the new “Diplomatic” President by planning a government-approved dictatorship, Gays and Lesbians in the U.S. are told that they aren’t really worthy of the same rights as everybody else, and the President Elect has shown that we can believe he knows how to get elected, the word “change” seems to be more a term of hope, than it is of reality.
I for one will keep hoping for change but I will be keeping a close eye on the President Elect. Although The Mythbusters proved that you can teach an old dog new tricks, politicians sure aren’t dogs: a politician’s loyalty needs to be questioned.