Less than a year until the presidential election, and I find myself . . . still undecided! The shame! It’s just what you’d expect of some wishy-washy moderate who pros-and-cons his way through the day, granting that while this side has a good point on Issue X, doggone if the other guys don’t have a spiffy solution to Issue Y. Where are the bumper stickers of yesteryear, I wonder, lamenting the bygone days of ideological certainty.
More on my Presidential Picking Method to come, but in the meantime my interest in Barack Obama has been sparked, kindled and whipped into a healthy little blaze by three recent pieces of punditry:
In the current Atlantic, Andrew Sullivan joins the church of Obama with a lengthy hosanna. Oversimplified Bottom Line (OBL): Let’s elect somebody young, gifted, and black–emphasis, for Sullivan, on young. Electing Obama will finally break the palsied grip of the Baby Boomer Generation and deliver us from 4 or 8 more years of some aging BoomerPres (Hillary, Rudy, etc.) re-fighting Vietnam, Woodstock, Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, Swift BoatGate, etc. New blood, new perspectives. About time.
In the current Details, novelist Michael Chabon leans more toward the “black” angle. Obama’s election, he says, would send a hopeful message to millions of African-Americans here at home and deliver on one of the great promises of our democracy. I’d add that it would demonstrate our regenerative powers as well: We brought on ourselves the dreadful curse of slavery with its long, ugly aftermath; electing a black man would mean one large step toward that healing and closure that so far elude us.
Finally, New York Times Op-Edifier Roger Cohen takes the Healing Blackness argument a big step further:
If the globe can’t vote next November, it can find itself in Obama. Troubled by the violent chasm between the West and the Islamic world? Obama seems to bridge it. Disturbed by the gulf between rich and poor that globalization spurs? Obama, the African-American, gets it: the South Side of Chicago is the South Side of the world.
Cohen further informs us that Mexico would sure like to see either a woman or a black as U. S. pres– which makes me wonder just how much more we are supposed to do for Mexico beyond taking in millions of its jobless citizens and providing them enough income to send billions of dollars back to the Failed State South of Texas each year. Just asking.
Despite that sour note, all three writers succeed in highlighting Obama’s uniqueness. For sure, he is one of the two or three most intriguing candidates I have seen in about 35 years of watching this circus. Thus impressed, I need to see if he’s the one who might advance a few of the issues I care about. More as it develops.