Monday, November 17, 2008

The Election

Obviously I haven't had a chance to use this forum to reflect on the election, and even now do not have the time to respond properly. Needless to say, I'm overjoyed at the result and relieved that we won't have to put up with four years of McCain and Palin - especially Palin! Nevertheless, I'm afraid we haven't seen the last of her, given her media whoring over the last week. She's determined to remain in the national spotlight and may just get the chance in the near future.

Yes, there is plenty to celebrate in President-elect Obama's victory. It represents a signal moment in U.S. history - a moment that is already prompting reconsideration of this country's direction around the globe. Nevertheless, I'm a political realist and understand that presidents are not "saviors" in the messianic sense, able to single-handedly lead a nation to salvation or some idealized, patriotic "promised land." The latest issue of Time casts Obama in the role of FDR, potentially offering a "New New Deal." As an admirer of the Depression-era New Deal, I fervently hope that Obama will succeed in changing the governmental paradigm of the last eight years. The country needs bold action and leadership that is willing to tackle fundamental problems - economic and social. Washington, of course, isn't the same place it was in 1933 when Roosevelt had a clear popular mandate to effect change. Obama will not have the opportunity to experiment in the same way FDR and his "brain trust" attacked the Great Depression. Still, we can hope that the severity of the current crisis prompts a unity of purpose between the White House and Congress in the coming months.

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