Obamalot

23 08 2008

To coin a word: “Obamalot.” The new Democratic myth of promise and utopia, sprang on the morning of August 23, 2008 when of all possible contenders, Sen. Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D, Del) was named running mate for Barack Obama. Biden is a straightforward liberal, a serious and learned man with both taste and wit and experience, who gives reason to hope that a better way can really be found in the United States.

Obama himself has resonated with something of the tone of Kennedyism for some time, but his aggressive, even at time belligerent campaign against the Clintons has threatened to divide the Democratic party rather than reunite them under the banner of a unified challenge and a unified hope for the future. Joe Biden’s addition to the ticket brings the needed and brilliant ray of hope. While Obama himself has promised “change,” Biden’s presence will ensure change with wisdom, change with reasonability, change with knowledge of the system and its perils, and change with responsibility in a way that other considered candidates for the slot did not.

The idea of a mythical and fabular realm of goodness and prosperity is neither new nor, in itself, American, but America has often adopted it, and often, too, allowed the myth to dry up in the face of a too easy militarism and a too unfeeling commitment to only the rich. There is a platform now for real belief and projection, for imagining a future where people are not thrown out of their homes, where the lives of the young are not squandered in misconceived wars against the civilian populations of other countries, and where the spirit of rebuilding at every level is again alive.

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