Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"The Vote: Fuck, Texas, Sing For Us"

Well, that slogan has actually nothing to do with the vote as such, but is the soundtrack of my office during this lunchbreak ... .
Aside: New Model Army played in the states this year, and they release a new life album which I am going to review on soon.

However it suits the impression I got from reading some papers and following the voices in the void that circulate around the topic Obama '08. Everyone is oh so happy about the outcome of the vote in the States, it kind of belongs to urban politeness these days to be supportive for the president to come and rule over one of the most powerful nations on this planet. Main problem is, if you ask one or two more questions about why people support Obama, the answers are - well - meager, to say the least.

Which is no surprise at all. It is part of the strategy in campaigning to drop promises about change and making things better than the opponent. No one can be really specific on his politics beforehand. Concrete information of the public is not intended at all. All we can do is watch, listen to the noise, and see what will happen. I am not judging Obama today, I will judge him when his period of ruling is over.

Most interesting about this year's election and campaigning is the instrumentalization of social networking technology. No one was ever so popular in facebook and the likes. Strategies of viral marketing in political communication apparently worked well for Obama. Next to that, it is also interesting to read the German (educated mainstream blabla) papers and to follow their online appearances: poll here, poll there, livestreams, livestreams, livestreams, post your own opinion here, what do you expect of Obama there, is he the saviour of the world, is he just another puppet of "the system"? Nothing else seems important today, no other events seem to take place, there is NOTHING in this world but the vote. People are still debating about the power of the USA, however - obviously - they have the power to take over the public sphere for about a week or two in Germany.

Let's see what happens next. Eyes open!


Jesse K said...

Hey, I hate to be a contrary American but there are a number of reasons that Barry H. getting elected is a really big deal and people are right to be happy *even if they don't understand.

First, his victory means the democrats, the more liberal party, have control over all parts of government necessary in order to make and pass new laws. That means an honestly really good chance to makes some major changes to the way America works (i.e. socialized health care, a reformed taxation system, a decrease in the national deficit, a quicker and more complete end to the iraq war, equal rights for gays and lesbians, etc.) These things are actually possible now.

Secondly he raises our stock in the world. American will no longer be written off as a relic that is past it's prime. We have proven we are still willing to be progressive and have proven our worth to some countries that had been dismissing us pretty severely for the last 6-8 years. Global treaties here we come! Perhaps with a globally cooperative united states we can actually make some small progress on some of the biggest issues in the world today.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, his election dispels some of the political apathy that has gripped my nation and specifically my generation. Also, this might mean that the age of cynicism and winking post-modernism is coming to a close. We can only hope because all that does is create apathy and stagnation. The important thing here is that people actually wanted change, enough so to do something about it. That means that, by definition, the United States is a liberal nation once again.

Not to mention how completely disastrous it would have been to have 4 more years of fundamentalist Christianity-inspired government. They seriously might have taken away the right to abortion and stopped all stem-cell research.

Ok ok, enough hijacking your blog, but at least you know there's one American who can explain why he's so happy about Obama.

~SaS~ said...

hey jesse,
good, I agree with all your points! good reasons to be happy. maybe I was just waiting for someone to formulate them for me, and not say: "well, he is black, so everything will be better now."

Jesse K said...

You're completely right though, on the whole, there are a LOT of stupid Obama supporters out there.
I guess I'm just glad they were on our side this time.