Thursday, November 06, 2008

After Obama

In spite of how bad a president George Bush has been, with any luck, over the next two months America will have survived him. Change has brought us President-elect Barack Obama.

No matter how much some bitter Republicans may wish him ill, hopefully, we will survive his presidency, too. So, after Obama, what do we hope will be true?

Well, I hope we the people will be more hip to the notion that change has to be our friend, not our enemy. Nature tells us the most adaptable survive. America’s society will last longer than some others, only if it adapts better than they do. If not...

Like any living thing, as a people, we want to last as long as we can.

Obama was elected by young people who aren’t about maintaining old orders. Naturally, most of them want to live out their lives with as much peace and prosperity as possible. No matter how much their culture may baffle those over 45 or 50, young people just want to someday be old people with as few regrets as possible.

Yes, there was a time that a black human being couldn’t get elected president. Yet, Obama’s election doesn’t prove that race is no longer a problem in this society. His election didn’t signal there’s been a racial healing in America, so much as it did that a generational shift has taken place.

Barack Obama just rewrote the book on how to win elections in the post-postmodern age. Out with the old ... in with the new, and so it goes.

Dig it: For the first time in too long the presidential election wasn’t about Baby Boomer fixations and grudges to do with civil rights and Vietnam.

To a great extent Obama won because he embraced, even embodied, change. That, while his opponent was widely seen as a man clinging to the past, incapable of improvisation or rolling with the punches.

The voters with the most life ahead of them overwhelming chose Obama. After Obama, all we can be sure of is that times will change.


HEK said...

I guess the question before us now is: will the Obama presidency bear out the aphorism of French critic, journalist and novelists Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr.

The most familiar, "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose" — "the more it changes, the more it's the same thing", or more Murrican English: "the more things change, the more they stay the same" (from Les Guêpes, January 1849).

Because he's inheriting a rasher of scheit. And those who didn't vote for him, and even more than a few who did, aren't liable to allow him much margin of error. People are already howling about the Rahm Emmanuel/Josh Lyman appointment.

All I know is, the spontaneous eruption of jubilation that we witnessed on the streets of Richmond caused me both elation and concern. As Nabokov wrote, from the hallelujah to the hoot is but a step. So it is with politics.

And with so much expected of Obama and his administration, he is bound to fail some constituency along the way who'll scream betrayal.

We know he knows how to be popular. His true test will be bearing up when he isn't.

F.T. Rea said...


As we should already know, winning and governing are two different things.

The way the sitting president won, with Karl Rove guiding the way, made it especially difficult to govern.

Obama doesn't have that handicap. Nor did he need to go, hat in hand, to kingmakers for most of his money. So, Obama enters the White House with less of a debt to such traditional forces than any president in a long time.

That doesn't mean he will be successful. But both of those changes in the way of doing business seem to me to be good signs. Then he'll need all his talent to persuade and lots of good luck.

SocietyObserver said...

Interesting post and blog. 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:

Stop Common Purpose said...

Barack Obama is a Communitarian, although you will not have heard him use the term during his election campaign. Americans will get a shock when the truth of his hidden agenda becomes known and they find out his real intentions. Bear in mind that Obama is simply a front-man for the New World Order Communitarians.

More here: Common Purpose Communitarian philosophy

Anonymous said...

I'm a relatively young McCain voter, not because I liked McCain, but because I can see through Obama.

Regardless, I accept Obama as my new President and wish him the best.

But I just don't get the "change" thing. I just can't see why someone would justify voting for anyone just because "we need a change." We were going to get a change either way. I think that if Obama is able to get his policies through, we may just find out what "change" means. And that's what scares me.