Obama - Best President Evar!

Obama - Best President Evar!

It’s been no secret that I think Obama is awesome… I’ve been watching this guy carefully since his inauguration in day zero, and I’m not ashamed to say I admire his tireless energy, drive and dedication to the ideals he promised us. True, his approval has slipped very slightly in recent times according to a Gallup poll (conducted 21st – 23rd February 2009), but this is to be expected and is something usually seen with newly elected presidents – the initial euphoria wearing off, people have bought his promises and now want to see them turned into action. With an overall approval rating of 63%, he is still widely popular.

As this show goes on, something on the far right of the stage caught my attention

I first noticed it during the campaign rally by McCain on October 10th (see video below) – a lady named Gayle Quinnel, a supporter interviewed briefly by John McCain, said [of Obama] : “He is an Arab”. “No Ma’am”, McCain politely replied:

“He’s a decent family man [and] citizen who I just happen to have dissagreements with on fundamental issues”. Senator McCain said as he took the microphone back.

It became more noticeable when Rush Limbaugh circulated that cassette tape to fellow GOP members back in December. It included parody lyrics to some songs that he had written, and one that included “Barack the magic negro”. I’m not sure if I was more horrified by the lyrics or the fact that the lunatic who divised them is interested in leading the GOP, and someone who might – in a worst case scenario – lead America. It proved a divisive issue within the GOP, and with good reason.

Exposure of The More Racist Elements

New York Post Racist Cartoon

New York Post Racist Cartoon

Then on February 18th, the New York Post (a right-wing newspaper by British standards) published images of two police officers shooting a chimp, with one exclaiming “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill“. Barack Obama’s economic stimulus plan has been widely publicised recently, so we cannot escape the either deliberate insensitivity or perhaps the possibility that this sinister message was intended. Were this a left-wing paper I might buy the tag-line that this was intended to ‘express the ineptitude with which the bill was written‘ (as the newspaper would later claim) except that the shoe seems to fit a little too perfectly.

No Easter Egg Hunt This Year

No Easter Egg Hunt This Year

Then yesterday on the 27th of February a cartoon appeared on racist mayor Dean Grose’s website depicting watermelons outside the White House with the caption ‘No Easter Egg Hunt This Year‘. To us British, these things seem unthinkably offensive. But these messages seem repugnant because of the developmental stage Britain was forced through in the 1950s and 60s, after the events in World War II.

The truth is that America is changing now more than ever. Ideas that have been around since its inception are now being finally erased altogether. The Republican party, historically home to everyone from the moderate conservative to the bible-thumping queer-stabbing racist now finds itself in a crisis of identity.

Shift To Left Leaves Far-Right Elements Alienated

We now have a situation where the Republicans will be forced to accept the crushing defeat Obama dealt them, and must now be forced to shift to the left in order to reconnect with current public feelings and maximise their chances in future elections. This shift of political tide will leave the far-right elements alienated within their own party, and will start to become a liability. Within the next four years, we will see more of this, and over time this will gradually change the face of American Republicanism itself forever.

I remember once hearing a proverb (though I forget from where) that ran something like : “With enough time and patience even water can shape a substance as hard as rock”. I think of the Grand Canyon, and try to imagine the sheer force that must have been exerted against the rock over time to produce this. So I believe we are seeing with the political tide – and as political tide changes, it leaves these protruding extreme elements for us to see more clearly that are no longer part of mainstream Republicanism.

And we can expect the American development in this area to closely resemble ours – the identity of their right-wing elements will fracture and fragment, causing the birth of smaller more extreme groups, and producing a new form of moderate Republicanism that will be more mainstream on the international stage of politics. These smaller extremist groups will later consolidate with older, existing ones as we saw in Britain in the 60s and 70s.

And the symptoms of it’s beginnings can be seen in these people hitting the headlines with such bizarre actions that seem totally out of step with their own party, the public and humanity itself. Archimedes once said: “Give me a place to stand and I will move the world”. Never before has one person had such an influential turning moment in American history.