Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Legend vs. The Reality 

The Times of London has a story by Gerard Baker analyzing the differences between some of Barack Obama's campaign positions and the reality of his political history. Not a whole lot of detail, but some (it's not a particularly long piece). Nonetheless, I've not seen anything this straightforward about Obama in the US print media. Here's the summation, but read it all:
Here's the real problem with Mr Obama: the jarring gap between his promises of change and his status quo performance. There are just too many contradictions between the eloquent poetry of the man's stirring rhetoric and the dull, familiar prose of his political record.

It's been remarked that the biggest difference between Americans and Europeans is religion: ignorant Americans cling to faith; enlightened Europeans long ago embraced the liberating power of reason. Yet here's an odd thing about this election. Europeans are asking Americans to take a leap of faith, to break the chains of empiricism and embrace the possibility of the imagination.

The fact is that a vote for Mr Obama demands uncritical subservience to the irrational, anti-empirical proposition that the past holds no clues about the future, that promise is wholly detached from experience. The second-greatest story ever told, perhaps.
If Mr. Obama becomes President, his election will certainly embody the triumph of hope over experience.

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