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 Johann Hari writes: 

Can it happen? Are the Bush years going to end with the election of a cerebral, liberal black man born to a Muslim goat-herd from Kenya and an atheist farm-girl from Kansas? Will we witness it in less than 48 hours? Whisper it: yes we can. At the midnight hour tomorrow night – unless opinion polls are wrong; more wrong than they have ever been – the era of President Barack Obama will begin.

He goes on to discuss the transformations that may be wrought: The Transcending of Race; The Death of Reaganism; The Palin' of the Culture War; The End of the Unipolar Fantasy... Read more.

Question: Is Obama the man to deliver so much high falutin' change or are some of us projecting our own dreams onto a man more ordinary?

Comments

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yardlong wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
I don't know about "so much", and yes I am projecting my own dreams. I am excited about living in a great country, and see no hope whatsoever of that with a McCain presidency. My vote is for life, hope and a thriving country with thriving citizens.
kwsapphire wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 09:23 pm (UTC)
I don't think Obama is going to change much. At least, not nearly as much as would many of the third party candidates. Obama is much part of the same machine as the rest of the republicrats, so I'm not setting my expectations very high.
cazort wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
I think there are a few fairly objective arguments that Obama is different. His source of campaign donations is the biggest one. One of the things wrong with the Democrat/Republican machine in Washington is that a lot of it is based on paybacks to large campaign donors and lobbyists. The bulk of Obama's contributions came from very small donors, and they are too small and there are too many of them for them to have anything other than a "collective" claim on wanting "favors". Obama also refused lobbyist's money...I know this isn't just talk because one of my friends is a lobbyist (ironically, mostly working with Republicans) but wanted to give money to Obama's campaign, and it was rejected.

So that's the one. The other is straight up...he's younger, and has less experience, less of a record. Some people have been counting that against him...saying he's a wildcard. But this "wildcard" status also gives him the potential to be more different...more new...
(no subject) - kwsapphire - Nov. 4th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - saavedra77 - Nov. 3rd, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC)
pariskan wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 09:33 pm (UTC)
Mr. Hari is so wrapped up in his own limited perspective that I have a very hard time taking him seriously. It's pretty clear that *he* is projecting his dreams onto poor Mr. Obama; gosh, he'll have a lot to live up to if everyone does that.

Hari's "tectonic shifts" which he seems to think are universal movements are pretty much the campaign's own talking points... drunk the kool-aid, much?

But I was particularly repulsed by the following:
But then the cold fear comes: what if the American people are too addled by the race-fear, and turn to McCain at the last moment?
As if nobody could possibly have an honest disagreement with Mr. Obama on viewpoint or issues -- no, no, if you don't fall into lock-step with him and the rest of the democrats, you must be a racist. Puh-leeeze. The very assertion proves that Mr. Hari may very well be what he insists we should despise.
beavis_the_wise wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
I think you have midunderstood that quote. He's saying that some people could -- not that all people who vote for McCain are racist. Not everything is black-and-white.
(no subject) - tamrinm - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:51 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - tamrinm - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:30 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - tamrinm - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - raptavio - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:36 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pariskan - Nov. 4th, 2008 04:24 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - raptavio - Nov. 4th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - pariskan - Nov. 4th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - one_horn - Nov. 4th, 2008 05:23 pm (UTC) Expand
greendemqueen wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
I think Obama's intentions are good, I think he would love to really change things for the better, but there will be plenty of red tape to get through first. The president can't just snap his fingers and voila! Change! We know it doesn't work that easily, but I hope that if elected, and odds are in his favor from what I can tell, Obama will push for these much needed changes so we can have a better country and have better lives! Not everybody agrees with him, but his ideas (at least quite a few of them) are quite good and seemingly well thought out. I put my trust in him, I believe in him and I believe in a bright future for ALL Americans under Obama!

VOTE BARACK OBAMA `08!!!

YES WE CAN have CHANGE WE REALLY NEED!
musiclife4evrrr wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 09:36 pm (UTC)
I think we all have high hopes and dreams for a man that is just ordinary - minus the fact that he's about to make history tomorrow. Everyone has their own ideas about what a black man can accomplish as president; some are just higher than others.
randy_68 wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 10:04 pm (UTC)
Johann Hari. Drank just a wee bit much of the kool-aid I'd say.

If the man is elected, I HOPE I'm wrong about what I think he and the Congress will do.

I hope he doesn't emasculate the military.
I hope he doesn't repeal the tax cuts. (My taxes went down $530 because of it.)
I hope he doesn't introduce wind fall profits taxes. (We see how well that faired in the late 70's.)
I hope he doesn't reimpose the drilling ban forcing us to continue buying more oil from overseas.
I hope he doesn't want to bankrupt the coal companies and cause our electricity bills to increase.

See, I'm for hope. :-)
brennakimi wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
Last time I checked, you buy oil from oil companies. What makes you think they're going to sell you just the oil you think you want to buy?

(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:56 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:47 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:20 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:58 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - brennakimi - Nov. 4th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - jeffxandra - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - wackinessensues - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:36 am (UTC) Expand
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(no subject) - jeffxandra - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:05 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - tamrinm - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - fmsilk - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
(no subject) - vanilla_christ - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:23 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - raptavio - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:54 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 03:00 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - raptavio - Nov. 4th, 2008 03:06 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - wolfwyndd - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:45 pm (UTC) Expand
wackinessensues wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 10:29 pm (UTC)
Well, as a long-time kool-aid drinker I would say that Obama is well worthy of the praise that has been given.

Instead of imagining the worst, I wonder what would happen if we all woke up on November 5th and said 'okay, let's get to work'. Imagine what we are capable when we all work together?

If Obama's dreams and hope prove contagious we will have one million plug in hybrid cars on the road in the next 8 years. We will build clean-coal plants, wind and solar energy farms, sustainable ethanol producing farms, and finally be able to wean ourselves off of big oil's teat. Imagine the millions of green collar jobs that will be created if America works together to meet these goals.

Imagine a country where every American child has access to higher education if they are willing to join Americorp or another organization where they give service to their country in exchange for tuition.

Imagine a foreign policy reliant on diplomacy not warfare. What could be accomplished if we negotiated for peace and exported the clean-energy technology we build to countries where resource wars have bled across continents? Imagine America having a hand in stopping the spread of AIDS, Malaria, and poverty, how much differently would the world look upon us?

It's very easy to give up hope and listen to the fear mongers who use words like fight and terrorize in place of any other suitable verb. What sort of wonderful world we would live in if hope, determination and collective resolve were to triumph this year. Instead of fighting against each other doesn't it make more sense to see that our common interests can trump the little things that divide us?

I'll be over here ----> hoping Obama is the man I believe him to be. There's plenty of room. Please join me.
randy_68 wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
Well, the first step is admitting you drank the kool-aid.
(no subject) - wackinessensues - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:26 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:55 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:00 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - tamrinm - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:36 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:32 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:41 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:46 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:50 am (UTC) Expand
beavis_the_wise wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I'm a kool-aid drinker as well, I guess, and I'm damn proud of it. Better to drink kool-aid mixed with cyanide than... oil mixed with shattered dreams and oppression -- the kool-aid tastes better! My sarcasm sucks. Sorry.

Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. He also wrote something called "Notes on the State of Virginia," in which he describes his dream for America: a sort of agrarian socialist state. People concerned that we're abusing the ideas that the founding fathers had for our country have got their perspectives a little too skewed.

If the man is elected, I HOPE he and congress will do a few things:

I hope they don't throw our military around like an arrogant jackass.
I hope they repeal the tax cuts on the rich.
I hope they tax the oil companies who have no remorse about raping drivers.
I hope they invest money in alternative energy.
I hope they do something to make health insurance companies lose their ability to choose who lives and who dies.
I hope they pay off our national debt a bit, so we aren't a super-power in debt. Hell, I don't even care if we're a super-power, really. How much power does one country deserve? Abuse of power leads to a lot of problems for this country. Charlie Wilson's War, anyone?

"I hope he doesn't want to bankrupt the coal companies and cause our electricity bills to increase."

hahahaha

While I realize that some (or most) of these things will not happen, I would just love to see somebody in the White House who actually represents something more than the rich guy. One day, the conservative machine of lies will run out of gas. This young generation, that I guess I am proud to belong to, will see to that. After all, Republicans will run out of gas without alternative energy.
randy_68 wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 12:08 am (UTC)
"I hope he doesn't want to bankrupt the coal companies and cause our electricity bills to increase."

hahahaha


Wow. I'm glad you find things like this funny. I realize he's talking about coal, not specifically non-clean coal energy. Even including clean-coal it would be harmful to the industry and our energy supply as clean coal would have to meet the same stringent restrictions he describes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdi4onAQBWQ&feature=related

At least this clip has his entire answer and not the clipped one from some of the other sources.

Cap and trade is going to be a costly thing. I could understnad it if we were much closer or had other technologies (non-polluting) online.
(no subject) - wackinessensues - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:35 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - wackinessensues - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:48 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 12:53 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:38 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:48 am (UTC) Expand
polarisdib wrote:
Nov. 3rd, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
Yes, and yes. He can deliver, though it'll be difficult, especially since talk show media is going to go apeshit insane the second he's elected. Think you've heard enough rants about "the liberals in Washington" and "the liberal media" now? Wait 'til there are actually liberals in Washington... And yet, at the same time, I'm not exactly sure what people mean by "change" and what they expect of Obama when he actually comes into office.

--PolarisDiB
bossiballs wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
There will be an answer, let it be.
There is what is called "Sea Change."

There is what is called "Step Change."

There is what is called "Change."

There is what is called "A paradigm shift."

Quite obviously, Barak Obama is operating from inside "The Gap."

Between that way of being which still holds it to be true that there is only one paradigm, (of reality); and that way of being, (other than a recieved wisdom fundamentalist),...which is party to the dynamics
of what Colin Powell calls "transformational."

For those of us already clued in, to that which is referred to as transformational, Barak Hussein Obama is displaying that subtle
distinction which is entirely apposite.

For those of us who are not (as yet) CONSCIOUSLY clued in, and are however;... sensing that discreet actuality: Barak Hussein Obama is
displaying that subtle distinction which is entirely apposite.

From which, it is entirely natural that... "There will be an answer,
let it be."
beavis_the_wise wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
Re: There will be an answer, let it be.
I know that this was written in English, but I still can't quite figure out what it means. I guess I'm thrown off by the punctuation. For example, you don't need a semicolon, ever, if it's followed by an ellipsis.

Between that way of being which still holds it to be true that there is only one paradigm, (of reality)...

This little bit of poetry seems completely unnecessary -- and insane.

Could you be a little more clear?
Re: There will be an answer, let it be. - bossiballs - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:14 am (UTC) Expand
Re: There will be an answer, let it be. - bossiballs - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: There will be an answer, let it be. - bossiballs - Nov. 4th, 2008 03:07 pm (UTC) Expand
Furthermore - beavis_the_wise - Nov. 4th, 2008 07:11 am (UTC) Expand
Re: Furthermore - bossiballs - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:34 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: There will be an answer, let it be. - randy_68 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC) Expand
Re: There will be an answer, let it be. - bossiballs - Nov. 4th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - erynn999 - Nov. 4th, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
raptavio wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 02:45 am (UTC)
Regardless of what we think about Obama, his ideas and his leadership will be put to the test over the next four years. I suspect his success will be largely driven by the margin of downticket Democratic victory.

It's pretty clear that the Republican delegation to Congress will be uniformly obstructionist regarding Obama's agenda. The smaller the delegation, the less effective their obstructionism.

No matter what qualities and aspirations we place on Obama's mantle, no man, not even a President, can effect the kind of change we want on his own. It will take an enormously successful downticket victory for Democrats, coupled with a Democratic majority that has more courage than the current one has shown, to pave the way for him.
bossiballs wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Exactly.
That is very well put.

That puts into words the resurrected Martin Luther King "get there with you" dynamic, the Jack Kennedy (Assassination)/behind the scenes covert 300 dynamic, (and what displaces hubris); the entire.......in-the-balance import.

And the signs are, that it is actually happening, right at this moment.

And that we all have a sense of that. And Globally to boot.

The scales of justice are tipping finally.

In my view.

Alignment, and from what Colin Powell heralds as "Transformational"
would seem to be in play.

"Cometh the hour...."

(no subject) - shannondela - Nov. 4th, 2008 03:05 am (UTC)
raptavio wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 03:21 am (UTC)
Re: ring-fence those dreams
Your benchmark is whether Gitmo is still open three months into his term? Really?

I think Gitmo is a blight upon our honor, but I think asking a new President to responsibly close it down (I'm pretty sure some of its residents are legitimately there) that quickly is setting the bar kinda high there.

How about by, oh, Labor day?
(no subject) - fmsilk - Nov. 4th, 2008 03:25 am (UTC)
maemmabea wrote:
Nov. 4th, 2008 03:29 am (UTC)
Hi, I'm not american but I really think that Obama can make a big change in the americans' lives.
I think he has such good intentions and I hope he can start a new era for America.
Maybe if he becomes the next president of the U.S. the people in latin america (like me) and the rest of the world can have more hopes that their futures will be better, with more opportunities rather than with McCain in the Whitehouse.
I'm not an american voter, but as a salvadorean and as a citizen of the world I hope the best for the american people and for everybody in this messy world. So I'm inviting all of you to vote or support Obama because if you choose him maybe you will have a chance to live in a better country and make the world a better place.

P.S.: Greetings from El Salvador
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