Friday, January 04, 2008

Atonement

Is there an element of atonement in Americans' response to Obama? Not atonement for centuries of slavery and racial discrimination, but for the Bush Administration's preemptive aggression, flouting of international law, disdain for allies, and widespread use of torture? Perhaps on some level a lot of Americans want to send the world a message that we're turning the page, we've sickened on the attempt to unilaterally impose our will on the world--we're changing our 'cheere,' to borrow an expressive medieval term that means the face, facial expression, the attitude, the point of view.

2 comments:

  1. Precisely.

    Indeed, if Bush hadn't been catastrophic, instead of merely bad, Obama wouldn't be enjoying the success we've been seeing.

    But.

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  2. All of the above - and a very prescient observation.

    But please, it's not "Americans" quite yet - it's the Americans who've turned him into a phenomenon. Those Americans largely consist of the press. They travel a lot and are very embarrassed by Bush. They know that things would change 180 degrees with President Obama, at least, atmospherically, which is all they care about.

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