The New World Order

Saturday, January 24, 2009 0:37 | Filed in Politics

Or at least, that’s what we’ve been led to believe.

Barack Obama has been sworn in as US president (twice). The celebrity cargo-cult that has been worshipping him pretty much since shortly before the election would seem to suggest that he is the Messiah, and that Barack is going to lead all of us, whether American or not, to the promised land.

Well forgive me for being a little bit sceptical.

I would have voted for him, mind you, and I think America’s first black president is certainly something to cheer. We’ve not had one of them over in the UK, although we did try a woman briefly. Well, I say briefly, it was for about 11 years and it has left permanent scars on the nation’s consciousness. But that wasn’t because Mrs. Thatcher was a woman; it was more because she was an evil witch.

Where was I?

Oh yes. America electing a black president shouldn’t be taken as a sign that racism has been defeated. I’m sure there were plenty of people voted McCain and the reason for preferring him was because Obama is black. However, there will also have been people who voted Obama because he is black. Not voting for a white man because of the colour of his skin is just as racist as not voting for a black man for the same reason.

However I would like to think that the vast majority of people voting — whether for McCain or Obama — voted on the basis of their policies, not their skin colour. Racism isn’t dead, it’s still with us, but it is slowly reducing.

My blogging chum from across the pond, Shannon, seems to have found the Obama celebrity cult a little creepy too, and it’s not really the Obama camp/team that are responsible for this … it’s the bloody general public, who are getting Obama tattoos and Obama action figures and…


I actually feel a little sorry for the poor chap. After all we’ve got conflicts in the middle east, we’ve got the threat of global terrorism from the religious fanatics of ‘The Base’ (Al-Qaeda sounds a lot more exotic before you translate it; ‘The Base’ sounds more like a police mini-series), we’ve got the global economy crumbling as banks have been for years rewarded for taking stupid risks and now it’s all backfired on them; we’re running out of oil (some people think oil production has peaked and will decline from now — others think it will peak in 2010), we’re heating up the earth with greenhouse gases, we’ve made large parts of the planet radioactive and uninhabitable, there’s world hunger, poverty, diseases and there’s always the risk we’re going to be hit by some giant asteroid.

But given the wave of euphoria that Obama appears to have been swept in on, it’s as if people seem to expect that sorting out this lot will only take a couple of months. These are problems that some of the world’s finest minds — and that of George W. Bush — have wrestled with unsuccessfully. It’s not going to be easy.

And I worry that people have unrealistically high expectations of Obama. Is he capable of improving things? Yes he can. He’s already improved the way a lot of the world sees the US, simply by not being George; by suggesting that he might actually respect things like the Geneva Convention and so on. Is he capable of fixing everything? No.

So what’s going to happen in another year or so, if the global economy hasn’t eased significantly? Is there going to be a backlash against him, simply because he isn’t the messiah that he never claimed to be in the first place? Or will people be thinking “well, he might not be as good as we thought, but at least he’s not George..”

It’s difficult to know what your average American thinks about George W. Partly this is because I only know about two of them, so it’s a bit tricky to draw inferences from two people to the rest of the country, but partly because I’m not actually sure whether Americans as a whole actually understand how much he was hated and loathed by the rest of the world. And/or whether Americans felt about him similarly or not.

I think tellingly one of the things that Obama has brought — to America and to the rest of the world — is hope. That maybe things can, and will, change for the better. And while that’s not a bad start, he’s got an awful lot to live up to. So I’ll wish him the best of luck, and I sincerely hope he doesn’t look to fix things the way Dead Kennedys suggested ‘the companies’ would have it (any correlation between this and any other politicians is entirely for yourselves to decide upon).

We have a problem…
The companies want something done about this sluggish world economic situation…
Profits have been running a little thin lately and we need to stimulate some growth…
Now we know there’s an alarmingly high number of young people
Roaming around in your country with nothing to do but stir up trouble for the police and damage private property.
It doesn’t look like they’ll ever get a job…
It’s about time we did something constructive with these people
We’ve got thousands of ‘em here too. They’re crawling all over
The companies think it’s time we all sit down, have a serious get-together…
And start another war

Dead Kennedys: Kinky Sex Makes The World Go Round

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8 Comments to The New World Order

  1. Shannon says:

    January 24th, 2009 at 7:03 am

    I would say that the average American hated him as well, even if they couldn’t tell you why.

  2. silvermine says:

    January 24th, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    Bush was okay. I liked some things, didn’t like others. No one is going to agree with me 100%. I agree with not bribing terrorists, hijackers, and pirates. I don’t agree with most of his “compassionate conservatism”. I really don’t agree with the way he cleared the way for socialism. :P

    Anyway, being a student of history, I dare anyone to name a time the US was loved by the world. Seriously. Look back 40 years. 100 years. 200 years. Newspapers sound the same as they ever did. The US has never been adored. And we don’t exist to do what you want, any more than you exist to do what we want. All I hear is about diversity and understanding… you know, except when it’s ways we want to be different. Then we’re simply vile. Thanks!

    Seriously, it’s tongue in cheek. Mostly. It gets old after a while. Sorry if you don’t like us. My job is to do what I think is right, not what I think is popular with people who don’t even know me. If the world decides they don’t like “cowboys”, I don’t care. I’m from Texas.

    I also advise just about everyone to go study some history and go read something that wasn’t written by the liberal media. :D

  3. JackP says:

    January 25th, 2009 at 12:21 am

    @Silvermine – some interesting points.

    However, I would suggest that there is a big difference between not liking a president and not liking the US. As a teenager, I was probably guilty of equating the two, until I actually met, and got to know, some Americans.

    I don’t really know enough about history to comment longer term, but I would say that during the Reagan conservative era, the UK still looked upon the US as something to ‘aspire to’, something definitely different to the GWB era.

    Equally, I find it interesting that the US seems to have such a big — almost cultural — downer on socialism, or anything that sounds too lefty.

    Don’t take me the wrong way; I’m grown up enough to not have an axe to grind against the US as a whole, or against US citizens. I may disagree with policies or politicians, but equally I object at times to those of the UK.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting, tho’. It’s always fun when someone disagrees with me, particularly when — as you did — they make their point without assuming everyone else is automatically wrong or stupid.

  4. Shannon says:

    January 28th, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    I really liked this post… just reread it and glad I came back to it to see silvermine’s comment. Being a Texan myself, it sounded very ‘Texan’. There really is a different mood down here. I love it.

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