Wednesday, November 05, 2008

NotTheNews on Obama's Win Last Night

I know, I know: this blog is supposed to be about life in Merida, but I don't have enough political savvy or material to dedicate an entire blog to politics, so you will have to bear with me as I unburden myself - politically - here. And before you get your knickers in a twist, you should remember that this is my personal opinion and you have every right to go read something else, like the Fox News website if you are so inclined.

My Better Half and I watched the elections in the U.S. of A. last night and as the western states were announced as 'blue' we were overwhelmed with emotion. Seeing the Obama family on stage, the emotional crowds in Chicago and Times Square and even in Kenya brought a tear to this cynic's eyes.

People I talked to here in Merida prior to the election said that Obama would never win, because the Americans would never elect a 'black' man as their president, which highlights not only how little they think of the U.S. but also how superficial their analysis was as well.

Personally, I have never considered Obama as the 'black' candidate, although to look at him, you could be convinced that it might be true; there is a hint of something African about him. To me, Obama was more about the man; an extremely smart, young, family man with an intelligent wife who projected to me a more international outlook on the world and seemed to have the desire and the ability to negotiate not only with political opponents but also with world leaders with whom he may or may not agree. A radical departure from the 'shoot first', 'first strike', 'fuck the rest of the planet' mentality of the last eight years.

McCain, upon conceding the election, made probably the best speech I have heard him make in this campaign. Passionate, articulate and not at all derogatory, the latter which I almost suspected after the B.S. that was thrown around in obvious desperation during the final months in the race for the presidency. I almost felt sorry for him, hopelessly trying to contend not only with the Bush doctrine legacy which effectively condemned anyone running under the Republican banner and campaigning with the albatross from Alaska that probably cost him a lot of electoral votes.

A few of my friends in the U.S. are alarmed by the election of Obama to be their president. They seem to think that some calamitous fate awaits them, as if it was the 1970's, the country was Chile, they were Allende supporters and Pinochet had just been elected. For the life of me I can't understand their fears. Is it their great egoistic fear that taxes will increase?

What could Obama possibly do that has these people so afraid? What could possibly be worse than assuring that your children will be in debt for decades to come? Worse than having your country despised and ridiculed around the world? Worse than sending your (poor neighbors) kids off to die in Iraq and Afghanistan all the while complacently destroying the planet? Or is it something deeper, dare I mention, racist?

Many Americans live in a make-believe world, where it is their god-given right to have everything they want whenever they want it, cost be damned. Massive environmental damage in "third world" countries? Who cares if it means cheap gas. Dictators torturing their citizens for demanding democracy? Hey as long as we get cheap toys at Walmart, who cares.

Time to wake up U.S.A. - and rejoin the global community! This is an important first step.

Enhorabuena!

10 comments:

Maya Goddess said...

hi Maloso, you are dead right about Obama's win, however he has a daunting task ahead of him. It will be like pushing a thousand puond marshmallow uphill for the next 4 year. It brings to mind a true saying. . .be careful what you wish for, it might come true!

William Lawson said...

True, Maya Goddess! Or herding cats. Definitely he is not the savior, but he represents, finally, an end to the downward slide of the last 8 years. And the citizens of the USA will have to keep his 'tes to the fire' as it were.

Grant said...

Hi William,
I have seen many of the che-esque posters of Obama such as you have at the beginning of your entry, but instead of PROGRESS, they all said HOPE. I thought somebody should have gotten one and photoshopped it to say HYPE.

It truly is the 1970s in America, all over again. The republicans are in disgrace, the economy is in collapse, and the dems are in control, with the idea that bigger government, more taxes, more unions and wealth redistribution will make everything better. I console myself with the thought that without Jimmy Carter, there could have been no Ronald Reagan.

Best regards,

Grant

William Lawson said...

Thanks for checking in Grant! For once I find myself in disagreement with you! And that is not all bad, I suppose!

Cheers!

Casi Yucateco said...

Grant said "bigger government, more taxes ... wealth redistribution" would be a problem under Obama.

I'd like to ask: Have you ignored what Bush did during the last 8 years? Bush presided over the biggest increase in Federal bureaucracy in the history of our nation. Bush doubled the deficit during his first seven years. And with the bank rescues, Bush has now nationalized a number of banks and insurance companies. In Europe, it is called "socialism" when the government takes over businesses. In the USA, it is called a "bailout."

Either way, it is a massive transfer of money from all the citizens of the USA (in debt and taxes) to the wealthy. We've had massive movements of wealth from the working people to the rich people over the last eight year. In fact, the gap hasn't been wider between rich and poor since the Great Depression.

And now, Bush has brought us... possibly another world wide depression, caused directly by permitting unregulated securities that have destroyed confidence in banking.

In his eighth year, Bush has added Trillions (with a "T") more debt with these bailout, rescues, and his administration is now refusing to reveal where the Billions have gone.

ALL that will lead to "higher taxes" because those debts have to be paid.

So, since all that was done under Republican pResident Bush with a Republican Congress, why is it again that all the things you oppose are going to be caused by Democrats. They've already been caused by Bush Republicans.

And McCain voted with Bush 95% of the time. There are tapes of him bragging about it. So, why on earth would you want someone who will continue all those bad policies -- policies which you just wrote that you oppose -- as the next president?

At least, Obama brings the chance for a change from the past eight years of one unmitigated disaster after another. I'll go with the "new guy" instead of the sure thing continuance of this disaster.

William Lawson said...

There ya go. Couldn't have said it better myself. Why do some folks think that everything that has gone on in the last 2 terms isn't going to cost anything? Seems that Clinton had this problem. He got in and was faced with a stranglehold on anything he wanted to get done, thanks to no money courtesy of the previous administration. Every couple of terms, the US populace elects a democrat to clean up the enormous mess left by the republicans. Once it's cleaned up, this same short-memory-span populace then goes ahead and elects yet another belligerent, war mongering, international law breaking, money first cowboy.

Grant said...

Well, I do agree the mortgage collapse should have been headed off. It looked exactly like the S&L crisis of the late 80's, early 90's. Apparently there were no grown-ups at the Fed to put the brakes on. But it's no good to accuse me of overlooking the last eight years if you're going to overlook what the dems did in the 70's.

Nixon was a lot like Bush, in that his highest priority was not fiscal conservatism. He left office in political disgrace at a time when the economy was also faltering from an expensive war (a much less successful one than the present) and a flagging domestic economy. The 70's dems' response- tax more, borrow more and redistribute to non-productive sectors of the economy. Fast forward 40 years and we have the same situation.

If you think Bush was a profligate spender on programs you didn't like, the answer is not to elect someone who says he wants to spend profligately on programs you do like.

Best regards in friendly disagreement. Hope you're right and I'm wrong.

Grant

William Lawson said...

I don't really care that much about how your government spends money; this seems to be major concern for all those who opposed Obama. Money. No, my concern is a little more general, what the administration has done for the USA's international standing in terms of international relations (ignored and belittled other countries), terrorism (greatly increased the possibility of more), international law (ignored it), and the whole image of the USA as seen from abroad (total hypocrisy, from 'democracy' to 'free market capitalism'). I know Obama is not Jesus or Mohammad and will not cure all the world's ills, but perhaps he will provide some positive leadership and be able to at least partially regain the moral, humanitarian and democratic standards and ideals that your people used to represent to the world.

Cheers and regards to your lovely wife!

Grant said...

I guess my original point was more that people are setting themselves up for a big disappointment by gushing over Obama as though he were holy.

As far as America's standing in world affairs, I was more disturbed by the hypocrisy of the rest of the world, publicly writing sternly-worded letters against Saddam and the other ne'er-do-wells of the world, while privately winking and making sweet deals as enablers. If Obama gets anywhere with sweetness and light, and I hope he does, it will be because Bush showed them the dark side.

Good luck to him, but all the hype raises my antennae. Ok, sorry to keep on. That'll be my last word on this.

Best regards to Mrs. Lawson and the lassies.

William Lawson said...

Since it is my blog I SHALL have the last word! :)

I agree with you and I have said repeatedly that Obama is not the Saviour. But he does offer the possibility of a change.

It's up to everyone to get him to fulfill his potential and provide the opportunities for a movement towards a more responsable and respectable US of A.