Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OBAMA THE CULTURAL PHENOMENON

Shelby Steele brilliantly analyzes the Obama candidacy today.

To sum up Steele's most salient points:

1) The most salutary effects of an Obama election are cultural in that his cultural stance would allow us to move beyond a large part of the politically correct conversation on race. The caveat is that a failed Obama presidency would not accomplish this. Obama's rhetoric, I would add, implicitly acknowledges this truth. Jonathan Stein in Mother Jones shares this related thought that substantiates the idea that Obama is well aware of this aspect of his candidacy:
"Obama's rhetoric makes an undeniable suggestion: that his election, not an eight-year administration that shttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifuccessfully implements his vision for America, would represent a moment in America of the grandest, most transformative kind. And that's a bit much."


2) Obama's amorphous politics perfectly suit his being such a cultural phenomenon. His lack of hard political commitments is his charm, in this context.

3) As long as Obama makes the election about cultural attitudes and makes political differences seem unimportant, McCain will epitomize "retrogression" and the election will be about "the establishment of his own patriotism, trustworthiness and gravitas."

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