Obama is way too optimistic. I mean all the ‘yes, we can’ and his exemplary oratory skills is similar to Martin Luther Kings’ ‘I have a dream’ speech. But the ground realities of whether he can is starkly different.To evaluate the election, let us try to grasp the full extent of his victory. You could argue on great lengths about his achievement as the first black in the White House and so on. But the fact is, anyone, whether black or yellow, could have won this election if their primary weapon of campaign was to sling mud and dirt on the already downtrodden President Bush. Obama was not elected because of his experience or his oratory skills; it was the change he promised. After 8 years of Bush (the word Bush would now be synonymous with crisis, war, blood, guts, lunacy, worst ever, idiot, and so on), all the Americans needed was change. And they were sure that change was one thing they couldn’t expect from the Bush looking, Bush talking, Bush feeling McCain. The caption about ‘Change We Need’ was not a brainstorm either. At a time of crisis like this, all that the people need to hear is that they will get some change. But they will not ponder over whether the change is for good or for worse. But from what science has taught me, change is something we won’t get anytime soon.
It is called inertia. It is the property of a body at rest or in uniform motion to be at that precise state unless acted upon by an external force. The larger the mass of the body, the greater the force would have to be. The larger the force driving the motion of the body, the larger the external force would have to be. After eight years of Bush, this vast and most diverse democracy of the world known as the US of A has picked up a unique inertia. Its direction and speed of motion has all been set and it has nowhere to go but downhill. But then again, the only place the people at the TOP can go, is down. So here again we see a conformation of science.
The Time magazine reports quite brilliantly that the greatest export of USA is debt. And to see a sample of how they do it, just follow Mr Manmohan Singh’s footsteps as he ran the obstacle race to sign the nuclear deal. A nation that at one time in history had the brightest minds in every field of life, now has a society addicted to everything that one can be addicted to. According to Will Wilkinson (The Cato Institute), the USA needs around ‘hundreds of thousands of good minds‘ from outside their shores just to keep their country running. Couple this with the fact that one third of the total income is spent on wars. Obama was right when he proclaimed in his victory speech that the climb would be steep. It would be steep as the drop was steep too. I will not bore you with more statistics that point to the quagmire the US is in.
Take a list of the primary contributors of the Obama campaign. These are the very people and groups who have shaped and molded America into what it is now. It is within their interest to keep the inertia and keep on going the same direction. The Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, and many other financial and political ‘mavericks’ who had the foresight to see that he would win the election had backed him. And now they would want their reward. It is within their interest to keep the war in Iraq and Afghanistan going. It is within their interest that the financial monopoly existent in the country not be challenged. It is within their interest that certain alliances be not formed and certain alliances be formed. And with a one trillion dollar debt, all Obama had to say during the campaign was how he would spend on this and that, while the stark reality is that there is no money to begin with.
Change is something we might all wish, but when we get there, we might not want it. It is great that they all wish to see the change, but they will not make the sacrifices that will make the change. Nor will they challenge the established norms and power pockets of the country as it would mean too much thinking and hard work for the common man.
Obama might be the new driver of this once great country. But the vehicle he wishes to steer and take forward has inherent defects and on the verge of an irreversible breakdown. All he can do, is to soften the blow when the landing is rough.
Raji A Rauof
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