Monday, October 20, 2008

Nearly There

America is frighteningly close. The presidential election is only a few weeks away and Obama is still ahead in the polls. McCain looks old and irrelevant, and he's desperate enough to attempt to make any charge stick against his rival, however ludicrous, however scurrilous. And to the credit of the American public, his barrel-scraping tactics these past few weeks seem to have caused enough distaste to turn swing voters towards Obama.

He encouraged the racist groundswell against Obama by peppering his references to his rival with the word "terrorist". And his featherweight running mate followed suit. They were referring to an old association Obama himself had denounced long ago, not directly to Obama. It was obvious. however, that they hoped the man and the word would become conjoined in the public consciousness; and among less discerning Republicans it worked. Ironically, how stumbling and weak McCain looked having to redirect supporters at his own rallies when they stood up and verbalised the ideas he and Palin had implanted in their minds. Don't say it, stupid,just keep it in mind on polling day.

The whole world wants Obama to become president because the whole world wants to believe in the American vision, as articulated by the Founding Fathers and poeticised by Walt Whitman. We want to believe that America leads the way in liberty, morality, decency, community. For God's sake, somebody has got to. But it has become impossible to think America even strives to lead the world in anything other than military muscle since the inarticulate, duplicitous and plain nasty Bush administration seized control in 2001 (via, remember, means of electoral fraud). Obama may not be able to deliver on even half of his promises, but for me it's enough that he actually wants to. That he cares what the rest of the world thinks. That he wants to restore America's covenant with the world, and give his country meaning again.

If something unexpected happens between now and November and McCain snatches the election, I'm digging myself a hole in the ground and living out the rest of my days in an air raid shelter.


Sharon Auberle said...

aah, Bruce,

I still think you'd make a great columnist over here--you say things so well, highlight the fears (not the ones manufactured by the despicable and irresponsible Republican campaign, but the real ones) that individuals are dealing with every day in their lives and getting no hope that things will improve...and sure as hell won't, if McCain stumbles in.

you and Bruce S.-- articulate what needs to be said, in a way that gets to the heart of concerns...offers hope and compassion and wisdom. I agree, Obama is vital not just for us, but for the whole world NOW, before it's too late. And if any man can shoulder such an awesome load, it's him.

Bruce Hodder said...

You know what, if somebody offered me a job as a columnist I'd drop the care work like a hot coal.As long as I was able to say whatever I wanted to say, of course.

I believe good journalism is as important as good poetry, or good literary prose, in its own way, and maybe even equally important in literary terms. Mind you, my dad is a great journalist and the first writer he introduced me to was Hunter S. Thompson, so my strong feeling for journalism was set early...

Thank you for the compliment, by the way. It makes me feel honoured, genuinely, that anybody even bothers visiting my page.

All This Trouble... said...

I thought I'd announce in this public forum that I do plan to vote for Obama. So stirke me off your list, I'm convinced. Well, maybe not convinced but I feel more strongly for him than the other guy. And that's that.

And your writing IS fabulous. I agree with Sharon. Keep it up!

Bruce Hodder said...

Good for you for making it public, Kim. EVERYBODY I know who knows there's an election happening in America--which is about 5% of the people I know, sadly--would vote for Obama if they had a vote. Or that's what they SAY anyway. People of a conservative bent tend to keep quiet when they're around me because they don't want a tirade about how they're endorsing evil. That's why I like it when, on the rare occasion, conservative types stop at SUFFOLK PUNCH for a cup of coffee and a wee-wee. But if they do stop once they don't come back. Know why? Because it's dark inside the Devil's Overcoat and they can't find their way back.