Tue Jun 3rd, 2008 at 05:08:21 PM EST
I'm not being cynical or wordly-wise, butwhen I read Kid Oakland's diary on dKos I felt a shudder of fear.
A Change is upon us.
Our nation will never be the same. We speak to the world tonight, and we speak with a new voice. We look out at the world tonight with new eyes. And behind the visage of our candidate, Senator Barack Obama, stands that vast quilt of assembled faces that make up the diversity of our great nation. Republicans and Democrats, independents and progressives, the engaged and the disaffected, the rich and the poor, the rural, the suburban and the city folk alike.
Forging unity out of our diversity is the essential aspect of our American story, and in 2008, that is our Message to the World. There is nothing we can't do when we work together. We are many, but we are one. We are, as Senator Obama so powerfully expressed it four years ago: the United States of America.
And in that voice, in that victory, in this precious moment in our long journey as a nation, we can all be proud.
..fear for progressive voices in the USA. Because I realise, I understand, that it must have been beyond terrible to live in George III's benighted land for the last 8 years. To have lived under the creeping conservative strangulation of the last 30 years, to have felt each and every hope crushed, every last stand flattened. I feel the pain and empathise, but now they have hope. God help them.
Because this is exactly what I was warning against when I wrote my diary The unbearable Lightness of Obama
But it's different for Obama, they believe in him: And he can't deliver on those expectations; nobody really could, but he won't even try. Items already announced, such as a bigger military really will make things worse. And where do progressives go then ? It isn't despair that hurts; you can live without expectations. It's hope that will break you, every time.
I'd seen this at democrats Abroad when I'd been inspired to write in my earlier diary The wind Cries Obama
Those who were for other candidates had strong logical yet nuanced policy reasons for doing so, the Obama supporters were energised by the feelings he inspired.
I don't mean this unkindly but there was something of the X-Files poster about the way it was expressed. It read "I want to believe" and they really wanted to believe, I almost felt I could reach out and touch that need. After 6 years of Bush and 15 years of Repugnican hate they wanted more than dust clogged policies to stop the rot and maybe improve things in median percentage terms. Blow that, they wanted someone who could make them feel good again, to feel good about themselves, their party, their country in a way they hadn't for a generation. Obama gives them that belief, the "Audacity of hope".
It's heady stuff to see close up, but it is undeniable that the Force is with him. From what I saw last night, barring absolute disaster, I can't see him failing to win next year.
(Okay, that last paragraph was just me boasting from 14 months ago :-)) ).
And my fear is described here;-
Fran noted at the Paris meeting that ET-ers are mostly all of "an age", not necessarily how many growth rings are in our heads, but a seen-it-all-before, won't-get-fooled-again attitude that looks at politicians with a hard-eyed reality. It was her observation that, conversely, Obama supporters, those who truly bought "the audacity of hope", are the ones who are most fired with enthusiasm and are consequently the ones must susceptible to disillusion.
Maybe I'll be wrong and Obama will confound our Old-Europe cynicism, but if he doesn't then it may be the progressives, the one real hope for America, who disintegrate under the burden of disappointment. And that, not another failed Presidency, will be the real disaster for America
And that's what gave me a sinking feeling when I read Kid Oakland's diary. I love his writing and seek it out, but he's got religion and I'm pretty sure an awful lot of people in the US have it too. I fear for them, people I've never met, but who I hope I'd like and would like me back cos we want the same things. And I don't want them to be hurt and this hope, this belief, is a first love's hopeless adoration. And first loves often end in bruising disillusion. And it's where that will go which worries me.