Poster courtesy of Changethethought
Speaking at a fundraiser in Jacksonville, Florida yesterday, Barack Obama said, “It is going to be very difficult for Republicans to run on their stewardship of the economy or their outstanding foreign policy. We know what kind of campaign they’re going to run. They’re going to try to make you afraid.”
“They’re going to try to make you afraid of me. He’s young and inexperienced and he’s got a funny name. And did I mention he’s black?”
If we’re lucky, the establishment has a right to be afraid. But not of Obama’s blackness, or his age. His message of change is positive for the people, but it could mean an upset apple cart for arms dealers, oil companies and their ilk. We all know they’re going to fight tooth and nail to protect their interests. It’s the American way, as sure as exposing the bastards is the American way.
[UPDATE 7.19.08] In Ryan Lizza’s feature piece in The New Yorker on Obama, he argues, “Perhaps the greatest misconception about Barack Obama is that he is some sort of anti-establishment revolutionary. Rather, every stage of his political career has been marked by an eagerness to accommodate himself to existing institutions rather than tear them down or replace them.” In other words, it pays to be Bill Clinton-practical. Change can’t come from the sidelines.
Obama is a complicated character in an equally complicated time for this nation. The fact that he’s black and young makes him an outsider. Wisely, he uses this fact of his life to his advantage. But he’s also a politician, a deal maker and an insider. The question for progressives and conservatives alike, is who will he make deals with and what kind of deals.