Pundits have attempted to claim that this Naivete is actually a worldwide phenomenon, in order to bolster the stateside legitimacy of the Naivete. Boy, do I feel for the political souls of the poor bushmen of the Australian Outback and the Indians of the Amazon who haven’t seen the light! How do we save them if they can’t get to the inter-tubes or watch Chris Matthews each night?
Anyways, I guess at this point I should replace the word Naivete with the word "Optimism" or more accurately with the more (in)famous word used as the mantra to mask a dangerous mix of both Naivete and Optimism: "Change".
I don't really blame individuals for having Optimism; they've been beaten down daily with the doom and gloom for the last 8 years by so-called journalists like Matthew, Couric, and Olbermann, only recently having something tangible (the economic downturn) to cling to in order to rationalize the previous 8 years of constant doom and gloom and to better bolster their desire for Optimism.
What I do blame is the slimy politicians who have maneuvered and exploited peoples fears into the latest cause celeb, in order to bring about the political change they wanted in the first place. The danger is this time is that the fears were so well exploited and manipulated it causes otherwise intelligent and previously rational people to overlook (ignore?) the standard political maneuvering and instead latch on to and defend political opinions with the same stubbornness and intransigence previously reserved for religious debates.
History shows what happens when people differ over anything that is based on religious orthodoxies...there is rarely any compromise, just periods of peace while one camp regroups and rearms.
I shudder to think what will happen if the optimistic supporters of "Change" fail to realize they have been duped into bearing a political cause onto shoulders previously reserved for religious fanaticism. Will they ever admit it? Would they retaliate even if they do figure it out?
So...I give you my exceptionally intelligent and dear "innocent friend":
I am amazed at the overall feeling of hope being displayed in America during the week before tomorrow's inauguration. I was wondering how this week would be going if it were McCain about to take the Oath of the President of the United States. I seriously doubt it would be causing any blips on blogs, in the media, or in people's hearts. Bono? I think, no! HBO? No way! If anything, AARP probably would have hosted a party in his honor, but Rock Star status? Never! Obama is a frickin' Rock Star!! His speeches are heartfelt and seemingly unrehearsed. He doesn't need rehearsal because he believes what he is saying and he probably wrote it himself. I have heard only one better speaker...Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks. The master communicator, Howard is able to paint a picture with words that you can see, feel, and get behind. Obama has that same quality...speaking eloquently and truthfully with no crossed fingers behind his back.President Obama has galvanized a nation before he has even spent one day in office! He will get the entire west coast up at 6 am to watch this magical day unfold. It feels as if the world is changing, and we are all in the front row to watch it. Better yet, we can help drive it. Will he get everything done? Nope, not even close...but his true victory has already happened...he has re-energized a nation with hope about its future. We already believe the world can change...we are ready to serve when asked.
Okay, this would be expected coming from a Millennial, but heck, I am a Boomer! And better (worse?) yet, a dyed-in-the-wool Republican Boomer! I was one of those converts as soon as Obama announced his candidacy. I was worried when he went up against the Hilary political machine, but somehow justice prevailed. Quick shift in subject...what would this inauguration be like if Hilary had won? I don't think there would be that same feeling of hope, but a whole generation of young women would feel empowered to change their world, and a bunch of us old guys would be pissed off. That polarizing effect was her downfall.
So I am going to bed early so I can get up and watch the spectacle live...no Tivo for this Boomer! Like Michelle says, I am proud again to be an American! You white people just don't get it! Ha ha!
So now my confession...I took advantage of my friend's blog and began a short reply to what I thought was another case of Optimism that runneth over. Instead, the short reply turned into a long comment abuse session, something that should have started out on my blog instead of continuing my own reply that obviously ranneth over in the comments section of his blog:
what most people don't get is that every since JFK's brains were blown out on national TV, people have been trying to relive and return to that imaginary "Camelot" moment. boomers have been taught they were cheated of so very much by an assasin's bullet. they were cheated and nirvana on earth was just around the corner. boomers have managed to forget everything bad about that time, anything unsavory about that administration in particular, and paint the entire era in a golden light that only yearning memories can conjure up.
fast forward to today. after decades of being spoon fed tabloid stories of hollywood rich and famous, bad boy sports stars, and wannabe Gangstas-cum-rappers, the internet is capable of creating overnight cult status...in timeframes that give PR firms wet dreams. find a pretty face, prop it up with pretty (not necessarily true) PR, and let viral internet marketing do the heavy lifting.
marry this ability to create empty heroes overnight with the gullibility of those who deem themselves cheated of those Camelot years, mix it in with the economic and political difficulties of today, add a dash of hatred that only Bill Maher and Jon Stewart followers can generate, and you have created a void that only a full fledged internet Superstar can fill.
the fact that BHO is considered worthy of Rock Star Status before he has even "cut his first record" is evidence of the successful PR campaign sucked in by the throngs. He is a politician first and foremost; one who has not done anything worthy of accolades. a politician by definition disappoints b/c there is no way to satisfy all constituents. he had no successes in any of his previous political jobs; his sole success was to spend time and energy in one political rung in order to successfully move to the next political rung.
BHO's sole achievement thus far? being the first non-white to be elected president. the fact that he was raised by white grandparents didn't hurt, nor the fact that he went to harvard (mostly white elitist) university. but frankly, with a $600 million war campaign and that an old un-hip hero from a unpopular war was his major competition, even a plain old rock could have been elected. does that fact alone deserve rock star status? maybe. hopefully this will signal to the jesse jacksons and al sharptons of the world that making a living off of racial tensions is an outdated business model. hopefully it will also spell the end for affirmative action quotas everywhere. so i do applaud him for achieving that goal. was the election of a non-white inevitable? of course it was. as is the election of the first non-male president in the near future. i'm glad this particular race barrier has been breached and look forward to the consequences that event will bring to racial equality in this country.
but becoming president of the US hardly justifies embarassing comments like "BHO is a great step forward for humanity", "BHO will unite the world"....what US-centric arrogance. why limit the absurdity? why not "BHO is a bold step forward for all terrestial and non-terrestial life alike"? i think it is safe to assume that a majority of the world doesn't know who BHO is, and a much larger percentage of the world will neither benefit nor suffer from any decision BHO makes during his entire US presidency.
so just like so many self absorbed Rock Stars who think they are more important than they really are, BHO risks falling from grace b/c "Every move he makes...Every bond he breaks...Every step he takes. They'll be watching him". hopefully he doesn't think as much of himself as all the bleating sheep who get their daily doses of his "greatness" by the tabloid press we used to call the nightly news.
galvanized a nation? that might not be such lofty praise. our nation is equally galvanized by britney spears' next haircut and p diddy's next weapons related arrest. BHO has simply successfully exploited the chatterbox that is the internet and created an amazing PR image in the minds of people who have been trained that every major problem is solved by a hero in 60 minutes or less, not counting commercials.
if BHO is only 1/10th as successful as he has already been labeled, then the country is in for some good times. but honestly it is time to put away BHO t-shirts, the BHO dinner plates, the BHO cookies, the BHO coffee blends, the BHO coin sets, and all the ridiculous and embarrassing superlatives uttered by the ditzy Katie Courics and Chris Matthews' of the US non-news and just measure the man by his actions.
whew...ok, feel free to tell me I should be ashamed of myself for talking so much on my friend's blog and I'm just a big meanie.
Since my friend and I had a couple of spirited discussions about politics before and after the elections, I don’t think that my friend and I are in danger of devolving into a religio-political war or that we will come to blows. (besides, it is just too expensive to fly to the other side of the country just to give him the slap to the forehead he deserves!) We have our long friendship to serve as a cushion to protect us from any unintended or perceived slights. I do worry that alot of people in the rest of the country don’t have this built in cushion to turn to help balance out what will inevitably turn into alot of squabbling over “Optimism”.
I hope that the shininess of BHO’s election quickly wears off and his worshipers grow weary of the one common thing that can destroy (oddly enough) both a religion and a government: idolatry.