iBlog: ! نعم يمكننا€


Tomorrow's blog today

Saturday, February 28, 2009

! نعم يمكننا€

That's Arabic for `Yes we can!`.

I'm reading the Audacity of Hope at the moment, and as something of a political-sceptic, I'm finding myself rather aroused by it all.

I don't ever remember bein this randy by '97 when New Labour spun it's funky thang*. That's probably a combination of me being a wee ten year old at the time and a sapient hindsight that sees through the spin. And so, with the smugness of this hindsight, I still don't remember swallowing the fruits of Alistair Campbell's electoral gaydar whole, and to my memory most of my family took the whole `Tony will make all our problems go away` mentality with a pinch of salt.

And so when Obamarama came about and is introduced to the wee UK by the media as `the black guy`, with the statutory `potential first black president` alluding to `new era` alluding to `new hope les in Obama`, out came the rocksalt for a good old three finger pinch.

But the more the campaign trail went on the more I softened to Obama. His addresses certainly seemed sincere and he carried himself with a certain nonchelant authority that's seldom seen by those vying for the premiership. By the time it was (an ultimately) three horse race between menopause woman wanting to live up to her husbands legacy, pensioner wanting to live the republican dream*** and Obama, I found myself quite vehemently rooting for Obama and, whether blinded by naivity or animated by the media hype, getting swept along with the `new hope` bandwagon.

By the time election came and race between St. Obama and Geriatric-John came to, I (as I suppose did most people I knew) couldn't really stomach a world where Obama wasn't the president of the most powerful nation. Kind of like the `cup final`: Spurs blatently won't win against Man United so the gn00bs that support Man U, in their pre-emptive celebrations won't imagine any other outcome than that which belies their happiness and revelry.

So a few months into the job and America's Big O' has done more good for the nation than Bush managed in a decade which means he's on his way to galvenising his legacy with his biggest proving ground - the trial by fire of making good on his manifesto.

In my tiny scepticle brain, words and actions are two different things and spin and attitude don't necessarily go hand in hand on the campaign trail, so I've waited til now to really look into Obama's ground breaking mentality and fresh air approach to politics. And so to `The Audacity of Hope` or ``Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream`` to call it by its happy subtitle.

The Audacity of Hope is a short bographical of the campaigns that took him to Senator in 2004, and the revelations that came from it. He makes no bones that his progressive liberal stance and Christian beliefs (in additition to his pro-choice views) might offend and makes it clear that at the end of the day, he's still a Democrat. Even the simple gesture of acknowledging this shows to me at least that this guy, in spite of his revolutionary momentum, is still a politician in a time of partisan politics.

But the liberalism he talks about directly relate to the bigger picture of what the American people want. I guess our direct (and disappointing) counterpart would be Dave Cameron who, it is safe to say pretty much gets told on Monday morning what the British electorate wants, then makes a speach about it on Tuesday afternoon and promptly forgets when Orange Wednesday comes around. But Obama's attitude certainly seems different to this. There's a freshness to the way he approaches these issues of the public.

Traditionaly the Republican party seem very much trying to squash the needs of the people into their own bolstered policies and broke welfare systems. For example, a not too old now bill was passed that bumped up massive taxes on prescription medicines to pay for the deficit that tax breaks for the wealthiest corproations now enjoy that was drafted and ratified by the Bush administration. The Obama attitude seems to be re-thinking the whole politic from the ground up: regurgetating the message heard at every election, but in a way that permiates the heart of Capitol Hill.

Another example comparing our two great and wise nations is the spending of federal/national funds to cushion the blow of the recession. Brown is pumping money into the black holes that are the trust funds of the banks which to me, is a bit like the crew of a sinking ship standing ono deck holding their hankies up to the wind to get the closer to shore rather than use them to stuff the holes in the keel. The Obama stance is more to do with securing what's important: the industry, the retail, the workforce and labour network, by driving money into the American car manufactering industry. By doing this the whole web of industries from the mining, import, logistics, manufacturing, designing, selling and ultimately purchasing of a car are kept afloat by real dollars and the cashflow that the economy depends on is sustained.

This isn't a primarily economic decision too, it's based on the will to keep Americans in jobs, paying mortgages instead of receiving state handouts. This tangental theme seems to be prevalent in his thinking, for example when talking about the hostile partisan politics of modern politics:
Quoting a conversation with an elderly Washington Hand... ``Back then anyone with any power in Washington had served in WWII. We might have fought like cats and dogs on issues. A lot of us came from different backgrounds, different neighbourhoods, different political philosophies. But with the war, we all had something in common. That shared experience developed a certain trust and respect. It helped us work through our differences and get things done``.

I've not yet finished the book but I'm inspired by it. After years of Bush... Well... Bushing it all up and before than Clinton sticking his cigars in the office property I'm excited by the future of the country, and with it the world. One can only hope the sincerity and zeal with which Obama is making his vision known filter feed to the rest of the world political scene. The bench mark has been set and the newly savvy electorate have thrown the gauntlet down to the party leaders in this country for them to inspire a flagging patritism and disillusioned country back to the lofty ideals that make democracy worth writing about...
``There was, and always has been another tradition to politics, a tradition that stretched from the days of the country's founding to the glory of the civil rights movement, a tradition based on the simple idea that we all have a stake in one another, and that which binds us together is greater than which drives us apart, and if enough people beleive in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done.``

* Incidently, you may wish to know `لا يمكن إلا أن الأمور تتحسن.`** is Arabic for `things can only get better`.

** Wow! if you type in arabic, because they read right to left the right keypad button tracks left and visa-versa. Ooooh. I feel like I understand much more of the chip on Al'Quaida's shoulder now. Maybe they'll be less frustrated and disolusioned with the West if someone nips into their BIOS settings and flips those two keys around?****

*** That's growing up in a rich family, doing a stint in 'nam and fitting in presidency before golf and eventually death and a cup of horlicks.

**** I'd be remiss if I didn't mention `death to the infa-Dell` somewhere...



Post a Comment

<< Home