After decisively posting successive wins in the primaries, the Democratic candidate Barrack Obama seems to be heading for an inevitable full-steam-ahead showdown with John McCain in the fall. Hearing his speeches and listening to the debates with Hillary Clinton, I wondered how did this Senator from Illinois get so far, so fast and how is he able to capture the heart and soul of this younger generation? It seems that his message of hope and change is reaching the ears of those who have not become indifferent to the radical swing of right wing politics that has driven this nation into deep polarization. The Republican holier-than-thou approach to politics for the last eight years has finally moved those who are not guided by the rate of return on their retirement accounts and upkeep on their vacation condos. It seems we’ve forgotten those people in the 60s and 70s who saw the likes of former President Richard Nixon and his cronies seemingly destroy the hopes and dreams of their country’s freedom for the opportunity to become great; for the possibilities of great things to be accomplished. No, I’m not talking about the Nintendo Wii. Of course, this president makes Nixon look like a rank amateur in comparison. What seems to be missing from people’s minds are the demonstrations, protests, and general student unrest of those eras. That spark, that we have long abandoned for mortgages, car payments and our children’s education is alive in those who’ve allowed hope to stay alive. In today’s younger generation’s uncluttered, less complicated world, the fire is still alive and looking to a reason to make things better. Obama’s words strike harmony, never mind that they sound too good to be true. He is appealing and motivating across-the- board to those of diverse backgrounds from black rappers on U Tube, to a supporting concert on February 4th staged by the surviving members of the 43-year-old band, The Grateful Dead.
Hillary on the other hand, represents a different generation. She is no longer a part of change but part and parcel of the status quo administration. Her desperation has her reaching for straws and coming unglued in an attempt to argue petty issues such as plagiarism of Obama’s own campaign manager and a retreat from her own “experience” with her husband’s platform of NAFTA that has now shown itself to be flawed. You can tell much about a person under pressure and she looks ugly right now, and gaining no headway, being on the attack as a last resort. I wouldn’t want her as my president showing that type of cannabilistic conduct within her own party. Had Obama never risen to the forefront she might’ve handily won her party’s nomination and gone on to defeat the Republican candidate in November. All of this has changed however, and it seems inevitable that it will be an Obama-McCain duel to the death. The last time I saw this much hopeful emotion involved in politics was the Eugene McCarthy race in the 1968 primary or the election campaign of Jimmy Carter as a backlash to the Nixonian legacy in the seventies. I sincerely hope that it does not turn out the same way.
This supercharged train has left the station and may indeed put Obama in the White House. For those who say it couldn’t be any worse, we will have a nice honeymoon for the first year. After that we will see what is real and what was rhetoric. Obviously, he cannot do all that he says he wants to do, no one can. Some of his plans will end up in a scrapheap. Some may be good for business, some may be bad. So, what else is new? Remember Clinton’s Universal Health Plan in 1992?
Regardless, right now no one is going to stop Casey Jones from driving that train. Hopefully there will be substantial change and as the Chamber’s Brothers sang in the sixties:
Time has come today
Young hearts can go their way
Can’t put it off another day
I don’t care what others say
They say we don’t listen anyway
Time has come today
And hopefully if he does get elected, if our souls become psychedelicized, it will be a good trip for all.