Duck! and Gather


Posted on: August 21, 2008

I haven’t blogged about Obama since July 7. I suppose I have been avoiding the subject — not wanting to “go there” again. But my business partner just called me and asked: “What’s up with Obama? Why is his campaign sagging?” (Recent media reports say that McCain has overtaken Obama in the polls.)

Well, ask me a question, and I’ll tell you what I think. What I think about Obama is that he is risking not merely winning with a slight margin in November, but actually losing.

I agree with the people who say that this election is unlike recent past elections. In fact, I have a more radical view than most about this one.

I believe the country is headed for collapse. I believe when that collapse becomes evident to most Americans, the “two Americas” of John Edwards’ campaign stump speech (right message; wrong candidate) will become painfully clear to all. Essentially, the America of 2008 comprises certain entrenched powers, and then there’s the rest of us.

This isn’t a division of wealth, fame, or class, necessarily. Rather, it’s a division of mindset. It’s the mindset of Head versus Long Tail. It’s elitism versus populism. Top-down control versus bottom-up. Concentrated power versus diffuse power. Hierarchy versus network.

I think this election of 2008 is a lot like the election of 1860. Imagine what would have become of America had Lincoln been pro-slavery, or had Lincoln been defeated at the polls by a pro-slavery opponent. Had that happened, there would be no America today.

What if, in 1932, Roosevelt had been defeated by the forces of anti-labor, or if Roosevelt himself had been anti-working class? Had that been the case, I believe America would not have survived. Either we’d have been swept up in the communist waves of the 1930s, or been defeated by the Nazis in the 1940s.

This is what I believe America faces today. The choice between McCain and Obama is not merely the choice between two similar “CEO”s. Instead, it is a choice between the certain death of America, and the promise of a reborn America. I believe that because I feel fairly certain that when the sh*# hits the fan in this country, McCain will line up with the Head, whereas Obama will line up with the Long Tail. The latter is necessary for the survival of this nation.

I have read many voices insisting that Obama is not by any stretch the champion of the Long Tail. Try Google searches for “obama trilateral commision” or “obama fisa“. You’ll read this point of view.

Despite such persuasive naysaying, I say that Obama’s actions in service of the Head are merely about what he believes he needs to do to win in November. I don’t think the man himself harbors the personal mindset of the Head. I believe, from what I’ve read and watched of the man, that his bones resonate with the Long Tail — even if his lips sometimes speak otherwise.

If I’m wrong about that on Obama, then I should have moved my family to Canada or Greece months ago. Because if Obama really is “one of them”, there is no hope for this glorious nation.

But given my belief that he truly is man of the People, then I can feel bummed about the way Obama has been running his campaign since mid-June. It is such an obvious losing strategy.

Here is the amazing campaign strategy developed by Plouffe and Axelrod and evidently blessed by Obama: paint Obama as “McCain-lite”.

For example, consider the relative statements of the two candidates on the Russia-Georgia-South Ossetia mess. When that story first broke, and the media sought comment from the two candidates, McCain beat the Cold War drums.

But Obama said something more interesting. What he said reflected a view that the world outside of America’s borders is filled with inter-ethnic tension in which there is no good guy or bad guy. What the world community needs to do is push the combatants off the battlefield and onto the negotiating table.

But after the McCain campaign called Obama “soft” for these initial views of his, Obama re-emerged with his current McCain-lite position on that conflict.

Recently I saw a headline saying McCain (and maybe Obama) supported $1 billion in aid to rebuild Georgia.

Here was a glorious opportunity for Obama. When McCain says he will take 1 billion of our dollars to rebuild some nation 12 timezones away from us, Obama could say: “I’ll take that $1 billion of McCain’s, and march down to New Orleans with it, and use it to rebuild that beautiful city of ours.”

Is this so hard for Obama’s “genius” campaign staff to figure out? They have a wounded, bleeding, frightened nation calling out for the sort of leadership that only the “Good Obama” can bring. Yet for two months, they’ve had this man doing a pathetic soft-shoe white-face dance.

The irony about the role of race in this election is that it comes out only when Obama puts on his white-face McCain-lite mask. He looks basically like a black guy pretending to be a nasty white guy. Is it surprising then that the polls show race to be a huge issue in this election?

Compare this dynamic to the USA Olympic men’s basketball team. Twelve black guys. In the past 6 six years, when they didn’t play as a team, and instead played selfishly, these same guys were derided with racial codewords like “showboating”, “hip-hop”, etc. They were seen as “too black”.

This summer, as I’ve blogged, the team has embraced individual defense, team defense, and passing the ball. This has made them all but unbeatable. Yet they are still doing the “showboating”, “hip hop” stuff.

But this time, race is not even in the picture. And if race is injected in the stories, it’s a positive thing. Like: “Look at these 12 black guys honoring the white man’s game, yet still doing their funky shit. My God, this is the greatest sporting spectacle I have ever seen! Give me more! (I’m naming my baby LeBron.)”

All Obama needs to do is be a man of the People. 2008 is such an easy time to do that. And if he does that, either his race will be forgotten by America, or his race will become a positive thing.

Argh. This all bums me out. A faint hope for this collapsing nation is dwindling.

Maybe if I can shake this feeling of doom, I’ll blog about all the mails I’ve been getting from the Obama campaign due to being a registered user on Obama’s campaign site. There’s an interesting pattern in those mails.

Have a nice day.

2 Responses to "Obamabummer"

Sir. Excellent post. Unfortunately Obama cannot BE a “man of the people”. Neither of the two major candidates can be men (or women) of the people. Obama MAY have been a man of the people – he could have – based on his background – truly presented himself as the post-racial, post-religious, post political candidate. But he knows he can’t win like that. The Presidency has been converted and perverted into a kingship. In January of 2009, we will be crowning the new “King Of The World”. Gone are the days when humble America only wanted to trade with other nations, now we need to run the world. And neither party wants to stop. If Obama wins, its it will be “butter and guns”, if McCain, “guns and butter”. The debt will continue to skyrocket, no one will be interested in allowing the people to run their own lives, and America will collapse.

Thanks Chris. It certainly seems that way, i.e. President as “King of the World”. Obama’s flip toward Israel and his positions on Georgia make me realize he won’t be dismantling America’s worldwide network of military bases any time soon. Still, history says that when the collapse comes in America, we people and its leader perform historically inspiring acts. I’ll confess I don’t see any direct signs of that right now. But then again, when, in 2004, I predicted and bet that gold would hit $1000 and oil $100 in Bush’s second term, I wasn’t basing that prediction on any direct signs. Just reading and applying history.

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for the money has gone too far

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