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The Obama Revolution


 

‘Revolution’ may be too strong a word for many. After all, this election was about change and, every four or eight years, we hear about the necessity of it. Besides, Barack Obama has given every indication that he is a moderate, pragmatic and prudent politician. His cool temperament was on display both the night of his victory and two days later when, surrounded by his economic transition team, he displayed the very methodical approach to problem solving that is emerging as his managerial style. His appointment of Rahm Emmanuel, himself a smart and promising politician, is hardly the stuff of revolution. And yet, when you examine how Obama won and how he conducted himself,you know politics as practiced in the past 40 years is in for transformational change.

His elaborate and sophisticated use of the Internet, the power of the words he delivered in a truly inspirational tone, and the appeal to unity and the better nature of mankind is something that we have not seen since Bobby Kennedy spoke in Indianapolis the day Martin Luther King was killed. Back then, we expected politics to be a force for change and progress in the noble sense of the word. In those days, the rhetoric was uplifting and appealed to the idealism of the young. Aging baby boomers remain nostalgic about those heady days of transformational change.

But forty years after the death of Kennedy, we have become accustomed to politics as a bloodsport, one in which tearing down the opponent, distorting the meaning of opposing ideas, and polarizing blocs of voters has become the rule. Despite polls that were favourable to Obama, many had the lingering doubt that the president-elect would somehow be denied his rightful due. The McCain-Palin campaign was straight from the political playbook of the 90’s and Karl Rove. It was divisive and mean and, for a while, it appeared to be working. McCain’s concession speech may have redeemed the man, but his campaign did nothing to elevate politics.

By first winning against the redoubtable Clinton political machine and then the Republican attack machine, Obama was able to demonstrate his superior organization skills and his capacity to once again make politics a force for change. Most importantly, he made them an instrument for inclusion. Over 66 per cent voted–a throwback to 1950’s numbers. We witnessed many new voters from all walks of life engaged in all kinds of related political activities to advance the cause and ideas of their chosen candidate.

Analyses are emerging daily about why and how Obama won, though the definitive account has yet to be written. Was it a compelling idea that won the day? Was it the candidate’s obvious oratorical skills that successfully mobilized a new generation of voters? Or was it just the winds of change? That is, was it the end of a Republican era whose policies had run their course?

Maybe it is a bit from all of the above. Still, Obama showed respect for the voter and the democratic process, and he elevated the importance of ideas in the political marketplace. His basic decency, coupled with his unflinching desire to bring the American people together, attracted a new generation and made it dream. These new voters were led to imagine an America that can change for the better. Obama gave meaning to the “fierce urgency of now” that King so eloquently wished for in his day. He did it through innovation and technology; he did it without trying to divide voters and destroy his opponent; and he did it by appealing to “the better nature of angels.” On the night of November 4 and the morning of November 5, Americans and non-Americans, conservatives and liberals, young and old, white and black, and the rest of American mosaic felt better. Tears of joy and pride flowed in Grant Park on victory night and way beyond. In my book, that’s a revolution!


 

The Obama Revolution

  1. What an excellent description! Here’s hoping the Obama revolution catches on!

  2. BUSH.

  3. You did it! You Did it!!

    People, you were MAGNIFICENT! FANTASTIC! As I said before, I am Soooooooo PROUD! of you. And Sooooooo PROUD! to be one of you. My pride in all of you is OVERWHELMING! You took on the longest, toughest, most bruising campaign EPIC! in American history. Then you repeatedly stepped up to the plate to do your duty for each other, and for the greater good of the World. :-)

    In spite of the extremely serious conditions confronting us, I can barely keep my feet on the ground from the euphoria I feel over how heroically you all stepped forward for each other, your country, and the greater good of the World. You are a great people.

    Some of you repeatedly stood in voting lines for hours determined to cast your vote. Others seemed so determined to vote they looked like they were on a pick nick, ready to endure whatever it would take to cast their precious votes. It was a BEAUTIFUL! BEAUTIFUL! thing to see.

    President Obama, and the First Lady Michelle Obama are highly intelligent people, and seem to have their values, and hearts in the right place. It’s about the people, and their needs over money and material things in a time of great need. (Papulo Primo) – The People First.

    President Obama has been very wise in seeking the advice, and counsel of many of our best experts. All of whom seem genuinely eager, and willing to help however they can. We are all very fortunate to have them.

    And we are very fortunate to have continuously had the help, and support of the Worlds people, and their leadership in spite of the highly negative, and hostile relationship they have had to endure from the Bush Cheney administration.

    Over the coming days, months, and years ahead we will have much to do. But I know that what ever the challenge is we can handle it, and count on each other. This is America again. And you have made that perfectly clear.

    I am Sooooooo PROUD to know you.

    God bless you all

    jacksmith – WORKING CLASS :-)

  4. This post is Obama-like in its vapiditiy. What is the Obama revolution?

    John doesn’t know, although he’s not the only one; no one else seems to know either.

    All we have to go is Obama’s leftist voting record. He’s trying to bring socialism to the U.S.A. That’s my guess. When Americans start cottoning on to it, the Obama revolution will fizzle like a wet firecracker.

    Socialism isn’t change, socialism is a throwback. Wherever it’s been tried, it’s done more harm than good. Obama was the stealth presidential candidate, but he’ll soon start showing his true colours.

    His low blow at Reagan’s widow gives an insight into his way of thinking. Mocking those who haven’t seen the light of leftist political insight are to be denigrated and sneered at – we’ve all seen this movie before. Americans have been fooled once, they won’t be fooled twice.

  5. Relevantly, many prominent experts and publications have pointed out that Obama is part of Generation Jones, born 1954-1965, between the Boomers and GenXers.
    You may find this page interesting: it has, among other things, excerpts from publications like Newsweek and the New York Times, and videos with over 25 top pundits, all talking specifically about Obama’s identity as a GenJoneser: http://www.generationjones.com/2008election.html

  6. All we have to go is Obama’s leftist voting record. He’s trying to bring socialism to the U.S.A. That’s my guess.

    Quite a few right whingers are saying that Obama is to the right of Harper. So what’s your guess on what Harper is trying to bring to Canada.

    Socialism isn’t change, socialism is a throwback. Wherever it’s been tried, it’s done more harm than good.

    Yeah, Sweden is such a hellhole, isn’t it. And don’t get me started on how socialism has ruined Canada. Canadians had it swell when they were forced to work 7 days a week from their teen years until death.

    Obama was the stealth presidential candidate, but he’ll soon start showing his true colours.

    So Obama has the hidden agenda now. How did that happen? Did Bernier carelessly leave it at his girlfriend’s place?

    This post is Obama-like in its vapiditiy.

    Well…ah, too easy.

  7. “Was it a compelling idea that won the day? Was it the candidate’s obvious oratorical skills that successfully mobilized a new generation of voters? Or was it just the winds of change? That is, was it the end of a Republican era whose policies had run their course?”

    You forgot one: I think you will find that polls showed that McCain/Palin were winning but their numbers went south when Lehman Bros went bankrupt and the Paulson plan was announced. A ‘throw the bums out’ mood took hold of the electorate. However, I do agree that it is the end of Republican era until they can return to their conservative roots and stop acting like liberals.
    —————
    “he did it without trying to divide voters and destroy his opponent; and he did it by appealing to “the better nature of angels.”

    Don’t know what you are talking about. Obama always divides between us/them. He is a typical intolerant liberal and when people don’t agree with him, he accuses them of nefarious motives. Here are a just a few quotes of his:

    “It’s not surprising, then, they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion”

    “Any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning”

    “The point I was making was not that my grandmother, uh, harbors any, uh, racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is, uh, a typical white person … ”

    “So what they’re going to try to do is make you scared of me .. You know, he’s not patriotic enough, he’s got a funny name, you know, he doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.”

    “So I read the book to help me understand what makes white people so afraid. Their demons. The way ideas get twisted around. It helps me understand how people learn to hate.”
    ———–
    “On the night of November 4 and the morning of November 5, Americans and non-Americans, conservatives and liberals, young and old, white and black, and the rest of American mosaic felt better.”

    How do you write this stuff with a straight face? As many people voted for Bush 4 years ago as they did for Obama last week. Did you think something similar then or were you in the grips of Bush Derangement Syndrome and muttering about divisive policies and the like. Obama won because of higher than normal black turnout and many conservatives/evangelicals hated McCain so they didn’t bother voting.

  8. Bush Derangement Syndrome is over, now bring on the Obama Derangement Syndrome.

  9. Obama’s ran on tax cuts for the middle class.

    I don’t even think the media kool-aid drinkers ever beleived that one.

    Has he talked about this promise since election day? If he has, I must have missed it.

  10. JWL:

    “Obama won because of higher than normal black turnout ”

    God forbid that black people should vote…the rascals!

    ” many conservatives/evangelicals hated McCain so they didn’t bother voting.”

    In effect, voting for Obama…the dummies!

  11. we have become accustomed to politics as a bloodsport, one in which tearing down the opponent, distorting the meaning of opposing ideas, and polarizing blocs of voters has become the rule.

    I’m always astonished at how the news media deploys one cadre of journalists during an election to amplify and provide colour commentary on the bloodsport (which they relish with every severed artery and crimson gush) and then, post-election, deploy a different cadre and magically make way for the sober analysis,

    It’s not as if this sober analysis and insight can only be rendered in hindsight. It’s obvious at the time it’s happening. I guess it’s just not sensational enough to merit being reported.

    If the *we* had the access journalists have to these people, I’m pretty sure the politicians and the courtiers would get a better sense of what *we’ve* become accustomed to.

  12. jwl: You’re wrong.

    Obama recieved 62.7 million votes, or about 52% of the electorate.
    Bush in ’04 received 62.0 million votes, about 50% of the electorate.

    However, the vote totals alone do not tell the story of unification. Every Obama quote you provide seems to me to be indicative of him acknowledging the differences that exist, and taking the steps to understand them, not to further them or ignore them. This is a crucial difference. You seem to be asserting that any attempt to understand or acknowledge reality is, in fact, an attempt to promote that reality. Yet for the reality that is prejudice, attempts to understand work directly against prejudice.. by the very defintiion of the word.

    I’m only curious whether you’re actually aware of how false you’re being.

  13. Bush Derangement Syndrome is over, now bring on the Obama Derangement Syndrome.

    The clincial condition is known variously as “communicated psychosis,” “shared psychosis,” “folie à deux,” and is manifested in many, less obvious ways, such as having a subscription to The National Post or a Sun newspaper.

  14. Socialism has always promised more than it could deliver. I appreciate that that is understating things a bit, or even maybe a lot.

    We all soon will find out that Obama has promised way more than he could deliver.

    A chimeric revolution – that’s the Obama revolution in three words.

    The kool-aid drinkers will be in for a rude awakening when they find out that the Obama revolution is an illusion. The non-kool-aid drinkers amongst us will look upon this with bemusement.

  15. The kool-aid drinkers will be in for a rude awakening when they find out that the Obama revolution is an illusion. The non-kool-aid drinkers amongst us will look upon this with bemusement.

    It’s really not the brainlessness…it’s the certitude, the sanctimonious, the conceit.

    Seek help, Jarrid/Kody/Biff.

  16. Next up :- Jarrid on The Promise of Socialism, Broken or Bent?

    Watch for it in your local Wal-Mart remainder bin.

  17. Obama appears decent and honest to me. That is revolutionary enough.

  18. “A chimeric revolution – that’s the Obama revolution in three words.”

    Of or pertaining to a goat? I think you mean chimerical.

  19. Greetings from California.

    In the same way that Bush will go down in history as the worst, most-hated, most-corrupt President in the history of the U.S., his supporters and apologists–like Jarrid above–will be forever viewed with scorn and sheer amazement, to the extent that they’re remembered at all.

    Squeal all ye want, jarrid–the rhetoric of fear, gloom, threats, paranoia, negativity, bigotry, character assassination, etc., from you and other pinheads of your ilk is being left behind.

    Surprisingly, refreshingly, not as many people are buying into that crap anymore. :^D

    Jarrid’s post above repeats SO many intentionally contentious, vapid, knee-jerk, know-nothing Republican talking points (which have been thoroughly debunked many times these last couple of years) it is impossible to tackle them all.

    Thus, I’ll quickly paraphrase one recent bit from a comedian (who’s name escapes me unfortunately):

    “If anyone truly believes, in this day and age of the internet that, Obama really IS a secret terrorist, they’re an idiot.
    “If, after 2 years of the most overwhelmingly intense international media scrutiny any human being has ever been subjected to–after EVERY scurrilous racist lie, and every slanderous attack and smear the opposition could make up to throw at the guy–all the way up to and including positing he might actually be the Anti-Christ…
    –if you still think there’s a lot of shady stuff we don’t know about Obama, you’re an idiot.
    “If he walks into the Oval Office the first day, and detonates a suit-case bomb, then our FBI, CIA, police, military, Congess, Senate, & Department of Homeland Security REALLY, REALLY SUCK!”

    VIVA OBAMA–because even if he doesn’t accomplish a single damned thing during his term in office, the fact that he so freaks out right wingers like “jarrid”, will make for better times than we’ve had these last 8 years. :^D

    All Best to our much-appreciated neighbors in Canada,
    –David Cox
    Central California, U.S.A.

    P.S. Just noticed this other post from the brilliant “jarrid”:
    “Obama’s ran on tax cuts for the middle class. I don’t even think the media kool-aid drinkers ever beleived that one. Has he talked about this promise since election day? If he has, I must have missed it.”

    Dude, apparently there is a hell of a LOT you’re missing–and I’m not even talking about your punctuation and spelling…

    In fact, the following exchange has been repeated ad infinitum: “Do you make over a quarter of a million dollars per year? No? -then you’re not getting a tax increase.” Admittedly that is some tough code language to decipher, but if you missed that, what ELSE might you be missing?

    At some point, most of the rest of ignorant, nay-saying racists will finally die off. For now, they really should get a clue: After all these years, their hateful, divisive politics of wedge-issues, greed, and manipulation has finally failed, because all of their mean-spirited policies have been proven to fail.

    Now they now have to sit back and take it while we play back all the clips of them talking about “respect for the office of the President”. Hee hee!

  20. I think Obama’s chief of staff stated a few days ago that the middle-class tax cuts weren’t going to be delayed because of the economy.

    And I think every -ism promises more than they can deliver. Capitalism certainly has. “More? You want some more??!!”

    I think more than any due to any particular policy, Obama won because he ran a well-organised and disciplined campaign. I also think the long drawn-out campaign against Clinton helped by keeping the Dems in the news more than the weak GOP contest.

    PS. Some people might find these constant casual references to mass murder (Kool-Aid) offensive. I’m just sayin’.

  21. Obama is 50% white, 43.75% Arab and only 6.25% black. He is an Arab/American. He comes from the Arab part of Africa. His father was 88% Arab. So he has lied repeatedly about being a African Black. He fathers ancestors were slave trader for pete sakes. He is a dishonorable man and a pathological liar.

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