There is nothing like a national election to make you despair, sourly, of America’s future.
“Oh, I don’t like Obama,” said an American colleague on Friday. “He seems like a demagogue to me.”
The comment took us aback. It had never occurred to us that a candidate for president could be anything but a demagogue. Some are better at it than others, of course. But how could you hope to win the votes of the yahoos and cornballs without stirring their dull roots with the warm spring rain of patriotism, larceny, and the terrorist bugaboo?
“But Obama’s message is so empty… so vague… He promises ‘change.’ Who can choose a leader based on that kind of promise?”
As we’ve explained in these columns, change is the one thing almost no American wants. They’ve all got their little places at the beach staked out… heavily mortgaged, of course… and now they’re desperately afraid that someone – the Chinese, or the Arabs, or the Fed – is going to kick sand in their face.
Still they listen to Obama’s speechifying as they listen to music, without pay attention to the words. It gently lulls them, calms them, reassures them. They’re confident that Obama, if elected, will do what any of the others would do – try to prevent change at all cost.
The latest Las Vegas odds say that Obama will be the next president. All we know about the man is that he has Paul Volcker for an advisor, so he can’t be all bad. But what probably makes him more appealing then the other candidates is the very thing our colleague dislikes – the vagueness… the emptiness of his speeches… the hollowness of his remarks. Having said little; he has said little to annoy them.
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