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Time to Put Cynicism Aside?

“In the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.” — Barack Obama

The videos below—spontaneous, unsolicited efforts by talented musicians—are the kind of thing that is starting to make me feel that Barack Obama may be more than just another politician.

Let me put it this way—of course he is a politician, but he also seems to be inspiring a phenomenon, a cultural shift that is long overdue in America, and is much bigger than one man.

It’s impossible for me to imagine Hillary Clinton, John McCain, or for that matter, Nicolas Sarkozy or Tony Blair inspiring tributes like these. Because they aren’t so much tributes to Obama, as to the sense of possibility he inspires in his supporters.

My mother feels that Obama’s supporters are “putting emotion ahead of reason.” She’s afraid they will be disappointed after he is elected, and will drift out of politics as quickly as they came.

My response to her is that moments of transformation are rare enough, that it might be better to take a chance on being disappointed, than to miss the real thing when it finally arrives.

Yes We Can:

Fired Up, Ready to Go:


Comment from Nordin
Time: February 5, 2008, 00:03

I share your moms’ concerns. Better put that high in the list of warning signals.

Hopes and emotions are very powerful tools to drive the peoples. The questions are do we know where we are heading and the way to achieve that objectives? Does the driver knows it?

Comment from eatbees
Time: February 6, 2008, 20:12

@Nordin — I agree that skepticism is always in order in the face of the promises made by those who want to lead us!

Obama likes to say, “It’s not about me, it’s about you,” but that is also a kind of promise, isn’t it? Once he has our votes, will it really still be about us? Or about him now?

So the central question is how much skepticism to bring. Not enough is clearly dangerous, but too much is also dangerous. In that case, we would always be fighting each other because we would never find anyone to trust.

I guess my mother is wise when she says that she wants a leader with proven results.

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