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American Politics: Black Gold Rules

July 25, 2008

It is no small thing to build a new world. Yet, that is what the charismatic Obama does in the minds of millions. He doesn’t paint a picture of depression, doubt or hopelessness. He embodies the very notion of change, the drive to work for a new country and a better world. He has recently been described in the media as a redeemer figure, a character of inspiration, an orator compared to many of the best, including the likes of Kennedy. Perhaps the comparisons are simply wishful thinking, for the world is in a time unlike any other in history. He seems to be a man in the right time and place.

While Obama has shared his moments of controversy, what is meant to hurt him ultimately turns to Obama gold. Even in his European trip to Iraq, Israel and in a recent segue to Germany, the heads of state, people and wannabes on every level gather around him like a moth to a singular flame of light. To the chagrin and frustration of conservatives, he already carries the mantle of both president and statesman in the eyes of millions, and now this has been passed overseas. To Obama’s opponents, that is what makes the usually unflappable, logical and charismatic Obama a great political danger. He aptly catches the imagination while addressing greatness of unity, even the importance of morality, as he embodies a vision for a new world.

The religious right and many conservative Christians have been strangely reticent this election. Clearly, none of the candidates really represent true conservative views and desires. This writer is surprised that some “right-wingers” haven’t made the connection between the charisma of Barack Obama and the perceptions by some religious Christians of the expected antichrist, whom they believe to be a singular man destined to change history, promote one-world government and result in the second coming of Christ.

His rock-star appearance in Germany was well received by an international crowd of nearly 200,000. His speech was well delivered and yet, curiously compared to President Ronald Reagan. Perhaps the comparison is inevitable. Reagan spoke of certain new unities between the “East and West”, the East joining the relative freedom of the West. Reagan noted that the “totalitarian world produces backwardness because it does such violence to the spirit, thwarting the human impulse to create, to enjoy, to worship. The totalitarian world finds even symbols of love and of worship an affront.” Senator Obama spoke of unifying the world. While Obama is no Reagan, his personal connection to his audience rests more in his intellect than in his personal demeanor, but like Reagan, doesn’t take himself too seriously to relate to others, even of different opinion.

He plainly paints himself as a world citizen, to many, a moniker for a globalist. Yet, his appeal isn’t elitist; born from the very roots of simplicity and humility; infused with the multiple cultures of two divergent Americas. Like many, he paints the dream of freedom that he offers to share with the world, a message of prosperity, optimism and grit. If we can dream it, we can do it.

Barack Obama successfully captures the idea that people work together, struggle, and sacrifice for a better life. He hasn’t mentioned what he expects sacrifice to be. A life of commitment to ideals and common value is what America has forgotten about. The good life was handed to many Americans for forty years during the middle of the last century. America could do not wrong in its’ own mind. Life could only get better. The idea that any kind of sacrifice was required was forgotten. In life’s struggle, America forgot the importance of human value. Senator Obama points to human value, pointing that value on the world scene. In the past, most Americans bought into secularism, materialism and self. Entitlement was born and flourished. It still does today. He hasn’t spoken against these ailments of self-aggrandized society.

Obama aptly pointed out that Berlin, like America, has struggled through dark times. He spoke of duty and unity, a commonality of humanity against fear and tyranny. The word tyranny captures the attention of many Americans that see the current political scene in America as one of corruption and tyranny against freedom itself. Ultimately, the depth of his desire to really fight corruption and the perception of tyranny truly remains to be seen. Still, America is not Berlin, nor will it ever be. Senator Obama draws the point that America, like Berlin is the center of a unifying force.

“Partnership and cooperation among nations is not a choice; it is the one way, the only way, to protect our common security and advance our common humanity.” Is Senator Obama speaking of a new world government or is he simply speaking of working independently as sovereign nations for the good of the whole? The fact that he shares the same political space as Al Gore makes many uncomfortable. Yet even John McCain buys off on much of Al Gore’s legacy of global power, cooperation and causation. What makes Obama different is that Obama says that he is about tearing down new walls that humanity builds to separate itself. This inspiration of presentation makes him unique. John McCain doesn’t claim to represent any such moral order. Barack Obama, like this author, knows what it is like to live between two separate worlds that have slowly come together in sometimes uneasy acceptance.

Barack Obama emphasizes the need to listen and has portrayed that need persistently to the embarrassment of many. The pride of politics is deep in America. What Obama is suggesting on the surface is counter-cultural, even dangerous to established old guard policies in American politics, if he is truly honest about garnering change through the support of fellow Americans. Americans must buy the dream for change. Many do.

While he has separated himself from the preponderance of old guard politics, he is still dependent on those foundations for his existence, which in theory holds great danger if he holds to his projected ideals without compromise. Old guard Democratic politics in Congress are, in part, a threat to what he speaks of. Unfortunately, separation from where America is now is exactly what is required for the change that America really needs. Does this really speak of world unity?

On the issues, never have the two parties been closer together on more issues. With few exceptions, voting Republican is quite similar to voting Democrat. There is more agreement than divergence on central cores of life application and political policies. Republicans have settled into a vision of benign financial neglect and political protection. As a result, Republicans have been forced to buy into a few remaining issues to hold the line of their significance: for example, the Second Amendment, national security and abortion. Most Republicans have taken on the appearance of Democrats and have proved little better where the rubber meets the road. Global warming, compromised policies, lack of creativity, moral ineptitude and self-serving politics has blurred the lines of government to a scary sameness. That is the danger of selling out. There is little distinction between the opposites except the old tired cornerstones of virtue, hidden corruption, self-satisfaction and ideas that hardly hold the imagination. The nation at-large is tired of lies, lack of hope, low expectations and blandness.

Obama isn’t talking about selling out to the past. He is one of a few that admits that freedom is a journey, a trial, not a one-time event. In an election year of sameness and similarity, he doesn’t have to work hard to sell the issues. This may be the Achilles heel of the election process this year. The Democrat debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama has consumed the desire to speak about the issues. Much of the country has decided that old guard issues simply don’t matter. Most Americans perceive politicians as being sold to the same policies, a political rut commandeered by behind-the-scenes fear and desire for personal benefit. Whose fault is that?

Whether the political opposition likes it or not, the vision and energy of Barack Obama is really the largest idea that sets the political world apart. More of the same old political jealousy just isn’t going to work anymore for America. He is painting the idea that he represents something different. Barack Obama is young enough to believe his own words without focusing on a vision of self-satisfaction. Like it or not, that is the gold behind Barack Obama, a black gold spun from two cultures. ~ E. Manning, © TNTalk!

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