Barack Obama Can Be Two Notches Worse Than His Predecessor
Contributed by: Y.Yamamoto
On the morning of November 5 (JST) I was watching live the "historic moment" on ABC's Vote 2008 program. The podium that President-elect was going to take was fenced in with 2-inch-thick, 10-foot-tall bulletproof glass walls as if it was a dictator who was about to show up to declare the birth of a socialist regime. In his victory speech, Barack Obama urged the huge congregation of blacks, whites, browns and yellows to rally behind him for the cause of reconciliation between different ethnic groups, classes, genders and generations, as if to echo Chinese leader Hu Jintao who in recent years keeps preaching harmony among his 1.3 billion people.
A little before this took place in Chicago's Grant Park, John McCain gave his concession speech in Phoenix, Arizona. His way of bowing out was a little more graceful and sincere than Obama's way of wording his supposedly touching address. But just the same, the Vietnam War hero failed to win over people's hearts and minds in part because he is a Republican, but more importantly because McCain's campaign could not afford to buy up the seven TV channels for a 30-minute primetime "informercial" at an estimated cost of $4 million.
All along the mainstream media in the U.S. played the pivotal role in sending the first African-American to the White House by meticulously and strenuously misguiding the voters to look away from the fact that what's at issue is neither how to redistribute the nation's wealth nor how to mend broken ties with foreign countries. In fact the single most important thing for the Americans is to have a leader who can bring them back to the nation's founding principles, i.e., self-reliance which does not always get along very well with international harmony and unfettered civil liberty which sometimes causes dichotomy at home. Only these principles can ensure diversity. And there is no resilience where there is no diversity.
To endorse the empty promise of change by the silver-tongued Obama, the media constantly tried to marginalize the magnitude of the challenge facing the 44th President and his VP. For one thing, when Charles Gibson of ABC interviewed Sarah Palin, he looked like a mean accounting manager interviewing an applicant for a book-keeping position while the Alaska Governor was actually applying for the Deputy Chief Executive Officer's job. By doing so, the ABC anchor could instill in his audience the impression that Palin was "not prepared." The media used the same trick when calling into question McCain's ability to effectively counter the ongoing financial crisis. As was evident from his aye vote for the $700 billion bailout plan, economic issues are not a forte for the former lieutenant commander. But so what? I believe integrity, not scholastic erudition, is all it takes to find the way out of the devastating situation.
It is also the media that downplayed the Onyango affair that surfaced at the last minute of the presidential race. When November 4 drew near, it was somehow revealed that a half-sister of Obama's late father, by the name of Zeituni Onyango, has been living in a public housing in Boston since four years ago, defying the authoritative order for deportation. Obama's campaign issued a casual statement that says, "Senator Obama has no knowledge of her status but obviously believes that any and all appropriate laws be followed." But what if the Kenyan woman had been a terrorist by any chance? We know still these campaign staffers would not have had difficulty inventing a far-fetched excuse for the presidential candidate.
On the part of the McCain camp, Rudy Giuliani also played down the significance of the revelation. He reportedly said, "I don't believe families should be hounded [and that] Obama has anything to do with a relative being here illegally." The former NYC Mayor thought that was not a big deal. We might have agreed with him if Obama had been applying for yet another high-paying job. But actually he was seeking the world's most influential position. With his thoughtless comments on the Onyango affair, Giuliani was betraying his own Broken Windows Theory. It's not really upsetting to know Obama is not only an opponent of the Theory, but also a habitual window breaker himself. But it is, if the one who was once able to restore order in NYC has now mellowed out and can wink at such a misdemeanor.
The bottomline of all this is that post-Election America sees bulletproof glass walls put up all over the country. It looks as though the nation has launched another war on terror, this time homegrown one, when Bush's war on terror abroad is far from over. John H. Wiegman, a seasoned journalist living in one of those "Red States," told me that he knows at least one relatively sober person "who would give his own life to end Barack's."
The euphoria over the result of the "epochal Elections" was so infectious and traveled so fast that the entire nation became enraptured in "America's most important ally in Northeast Asia" as soon as ABC called Obama the winner. You may not comprehend the Japanese language in the YouTube video embedded below. But that doesn't matter; the Japanese at large, and citizens of Obama city, Fukui Prefecture, in particular, are just saying that thery are glad Barack Obama was elected the 44th President of the United States because they have been rooting for him since the onset. Simply they "rub" the lanky, youngish guy so much.
In short the Japanese people look forward to improved relations between the two nations, although the November 5 big rally in the Nikkei Average was short-lived as the TSE soon shrugged off the false hope. Amid the protracted uncertainty, one thing is for sure: it will never cross their minds that it's absurd to expect a nation that cannot take care of itself to take care of others. ·