mercredi 5 novembre 2008

The myth reinforced

Somewhere in Obama's winning speech, he mentions something about his victory shows that the American dream is still alive. He means, of course, that by application and sheer hard work anyone can get to the top of their chosen field. The corollary is that if you don't succeed, it's your fault. I want to believe the hype - change you can believe in belief you can change etc. but soon, his real mission will become clear. He's there to let the American public that do want fundamental change down gently. There will be a brief honeymoon period, but the 'tough' decisions that will have to be made once the full extent of Bush's economic catastrophe becomes clear, will be bourne by the same people that have voted for him so enthusiastically last night. The parallels with Blair's victory in the UK in 1997 are stark. A backdrop of economic crisis, war, unemployment. A despised conservative administration steeped in sleaze, corruption and lies suffers a humiliating landslide. A new young and untested leader gets voted in on a promise of change, unity and promise. People throng the streets in near rapture. There are tears and parties and talk of history being made. Hopes are raised to giddy heights, this timethings will get better.

It was all bollocks then and in all likelihood is bollocks now. Obama and the Democrats are not going to be able to do anything for those at point in US society - the poor, sick and old, even if they wanted to. Obama will probably even draft in Republicans into his cabinet, just like Blair did, in order to dampen down this dangerous outburst of political sentiment on behalf of the electorate. After all, the voters are supposed to be little more than bit players for the elites and their hopes will have to be dealt with - just as Blair managed - by betrayals, continuation of previous economic policies and with the wars.

But like in 1997, it was good to see the incumbent party ripped to shreds. McCain's speech conceding defeat was revealing. On his words that Obama would be President, his audience booed and jeered. Irritated, he held his hands out and said 'Please'. He looked tired, defeated and out of it. It also showed that the Republican party has a problem with its 'base'.

They are all wankers.

Enjoy the sugary hype but don't let it fool you. Obviously.