Article

A New Dawn

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After living through the last eight wasted years in America–writing in outrage for seven of them–it’s hard to overstate the elation I share with progressives, humanists and defenders of rationality worldwide. Obama has won the American Presidency, and we are clearly in uncharted political territory. While giving credit to John McCain for his gracious concession speech, we must be glad that the Republican fear and slime campaign against Obama is over. It’s time to tally up the ways he will change the world:

  1. He is a top-level member of the educated elite, and for this we should rejoice. His tack-sharp mind is exactly what will be required to understand and fix the mess left by his predecessor.
  2. With his multiracial heritage, Obama better represents the 75% of the world which is non-white. Much as we wish all vestiges of racism were gone, it will be easier now for Asians, Africans, and other non-European cultures to accept that a multi-racial American president will address their concerns with just international policy. As someone who is half European, he also speaks for white people.
  3. Obama has a chance to restore America’s image as a beacon of freedom tempered with fairness, and an emphasis on human happiness, aid, and harm-reduction.
  4. An Obama administration would be far less likely than Bush, for example, to tie foreign aid to religion-based abstinence-only programs which have barred the distribution of condoms to the poorest, sickest nations.
  5. Obama has pledged to address the climate crisis and promote renewable energy, which can also strongly revitalize the global economy. He has discussed implementing some form of carbon cap and trade legislation, which would bring the U.S. (as the second largest carbon emitter) in line with both existing international treaties such as the Kyoto protocol and the overwhelming recommendations of scientists.
  6. Obama will restore the primacy of diplomacy, which should always dominate U.S. foreign policy. He has pledged to use force when necessary, but given the cost, he would take this option only as a last resort.
  7. He will take the fight directly to Al-Qaeda, instead of pursuing endless neo-con war profiteering.
  8. He has signalled a willingness to rethink the "War on Drugs." This is a no-brainer since disproportionate numbers of our highest-in-the-world prison population are people of color put there by a system more focused on punishment than rehabilitation.
  9. Obama represents the ultimate symbol and fact of racial healing and reconciliation, which has the ability to finally lay to rest 400 years of U.S. repression of African American people. The symbolism alone has the promise of reshaping African neighborhoods and communities throughout America. It gives every black child the real hope that they can accomplish anything. This self-esteem boost will have generational ramifications.
  10. Obama will have the opportunity to appoint one if not two Supreme Court justices. This will be a legacy that will affect U.S. law (particularly abortion rights, gay rights, and other social policy) for decades.

The future no doubt holds many surprises. Obama will be tested and challenged in unspeakably difficult ways. We are out of money and face dire threats from many corners. But despite the undeniable decline of U.S. prominence over the past few decades, in many ways the American president holds a global constituency. For the past eight years, billions have watched in horror as George W. Bush has dragged their hopes and dreams of what America used to represent into the ground. It was with near universal dread that the world anticipated four more years along the same plummeting trajectory. Now, that potential–that long nightmare–is finally coming to a close.

From every state in the union, every corner of the globe–Kenya, Australia, Europe and beyond, tears of joy are flowing this night. Obama is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a world president with a mandate. The only people who are not celebrating this momentous and historic occasion are those who still cling and grasp for the faded glories of fanatical nationalism, unprincipled authority, so-called purity, and those hide-bound by their traditions.

For the rest of us, it is a new dawn.


Comments (27 comments)

Amaterasu / November 5th, 2008, 3:12 am / #1

I am excited that Barack Obama considers education to be “the currency of the information age”, and has a plan that will address the urgent need for affordable education. To have proper care and teaching for preschoolers, professional development and rewards for teachers, support for afterschool programs, improved accountability of schools and the possibility of more affordable higher education, brings some reassurance that children today will have a more equitable opportunity to gain a decent education. An accent on maths and science will address the fact that American kids, by 12th grade, score lower in tests of these subjects than most other kids in the world.
To have a president that really cares about education and is prepared to support, reward and encourage teachers, will make a difference to the morale and ability of teachers, and hence, the quality of life for our kids.

fpnorton / November 5th, 2008, 2:43 pm / #2

I get the sense you are presenting the tenants of a dogma.

We should be setting up temples to worship him. He is the one liberal’s prophesized about that will lead them out of darkness. I do not think paying higher taxes will be enough or sharing the wealth. There is a name for this; it is called the “Obama Delusion”.

Best of Luck in 2012

BlackSun / November 5th, 2008, 3:01 pm / #3

Fpnorton,

I get the sense you are presenting the tenants of a dogma.

I would call it a combination of vision and principle.

We should be setting up temples to worship him. He is the one liberal’s prophesized about that will lead them out of darkness.

Too bad you can only think in religious metaphors.

He ran a brilliant campaign, now you sit back in wonder as if he was some kind of God. Two things put Obama in office: his unbridled optimism and the economic crisis. Though Republicans focus on his “socialism,” it’s a very small part of the picture. His economic policy will no doubt mirror Bill Clinton’s. Those years were quite good to most Americans, so you can relax now.

Fpnorton / November 5th, 2008, 3:35 pm / #4

From every state in the union, every corner of the globe–Kenya, Australia, Europe and beyond, tears of joy are flowing this night. Obama is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a world president with a mandate. The only people who are not celebrating this momentous and historic occasion are those who still cling and grasp for the faded glories of fanatical nationalism, unprincipled authority, so-called purity, and those hide-bound by their traditions.

We shall see!

Amaterasu / November 5th, 2008, 5:19 pm / #5

Fpnorton ~ I for one have family that have been following this election for months, who are Australians living in Australia, who took time off work to be as present as possible when the outcome was confirmed. Yes, they had a few tears roll down their cheeks, because of their enthusiam for a job well done, a victory well earned, and a future not defined by another republican government. They, and I, are enthusastic that the US return to a place of strength and eventually correct the errors of the past government.
The term “Tall poppy syndrome” comes to mind with your comment. You seem to indicate an attitude that anyone with above average ability and achievements and the ability to vocalise them, should be cut down to size, regardless of the legitimacy of their offering. Obviously the new government should be judged on it’s progressive actions in the course of time, but a joyful enthusiasm for the bigger picture and a better world is not a foolish or shameful way to begin support for the task.

Fpnorton / November 5th, 2008, 7:18 pm / #6

Amaterasu / November 5th, 2008, 5:19 pm

Those are very nice sentiments from our friends down under. I have always had the deepest respect for them. However,

They, and I, are enthusastic that the US return to a place of strength and eventually correct the errors of the past government.

The US has never lost its strength. We did make mistakes over the past 40 years including the last eight and we will make more. But I wont make apologies for it simply because the intention of our government whether Republican or Democratic have been based on strong principles. At some point you should clarify what specific errors you feel we need to correct and specifically what you feel President Obama will do differently. President Obama will try to repeat what President Kennedy did. It is not new. Hence the term “Obama Dellusion”. But make no mistake he is my President and will be accorded the appropiate respect, but his duty is to the US first and not the rest of the world.

The term “Tall poppy syndrome” comes to mind with your comment. You seem to indicate an attitude that anyone with above average ability and achievements and the ability to vocalise them, should be cut down to size, regardless of the legitimacy of their offering.

I would stipulate his above average ability, his acheivements are few given his ability, he does vocalise them extremely well. Your phrase of cut down to size denotes his impunity. When it was not his abilites nor his achievements I called into question. It was the writers potrayal of him I took note of. The legitimacy of his offering is not in question. I have doubts as to the consequences of his ideals.

but a joyful enthusiasm for the bigger picture and a better world is not a foolish or shameful way to begin support for the task.

It is however delusional not to understand the consequences of accepting ones words on face value regardless, of ability, achievement and/or election results (Sean should understand this). Your point about the the previous administration is well taken especially by myself. Which is why it will not happen again to me regardless of how well or not they are articulated. This brings me back to my original post dont be taken in by the “Obama Delusion”.

Engineer-Poet / November 5th, 2008, 7:55 pm / #7

I’m sorry, Sean, but some of this is cause for anything but optimism.

With his multiracial heritage, Obama better represents the 75% of the world which is non-white.

And the people who form the majority of the USA, he regards with such disdain as “typical white person” (in reference to his “beloved” grandmother).  Never mind that none other than Jesse Jackson has similar reactions to the same stimuli… and with excellent justification.

He will take the fight directly to Al-Qaeda, instead of pursuing endless neo-con war profiteering.

He’s far too friendly with the likes of CAIR to be likely to do that, though I’m willing to wait and see.

Obama represents the ultimate symbol and fact of racial healing and reconciliation

That depends on him.  He was extended the goodwill of the majority; we’ll have to see if the man who could have remained “Barry” but decided to be “Barack” while searching for his blackness in Jeremiah Wright’s hate-filled church can return it.

I still have cautious hope, but I’m ready to be thrown under the bus just like his grandmother (and yell for impeachment of #44 just as I did for #43).

bulldada / November 5th, 2008, 8:07 pm / #8

It’s creepy that you speak about Obama like he is Jesus.

Have you ever looked at the other side of the story? You may be suprised to find out that Obama is not actually Jesus…

BlackSun / November 5th, 2008, 8:52 pm / #9

@Engineer-Poet, I have hope, and yes, we will have to wait and see.

@Bulldada, that’s utterly ridiculous. I don’t believe in Jesus. I feel a sense of hope about Obama’s election, and it is based on Obama doing or being ten specific things that I mentioned. What is it with you and the straw-man attacks?

@fpnorton, it’s not a delusion, it’s hope. Now we will see. I hope I’m right about Obama, and if you love America, you should too. If you think the U.S. hasn’t lost strength, take a look at our financial situation, balance of trade, and oil dependence. Not to mention our dismal rankings on health and public education among first-world democracies. Oh, and there’s the fevered religiosity which puts us on an intellectual par with, say, Turkey. (Apologies to anyone from Turkey!)

If nothing else, Obama has already helped restore "brand America" worldwide.

Tatiana Prophet / November 5th, 2008, 9:32 pm / #10

@Engineer-Poet:

It seems to me you’re drawing a curiously arbitrary conclusion about Barack Obama choosing to be “Barack” instead of “Barry.” Your conclusion is that in changing his name back to his given name, he was “searching for his blackness.” I find your conclusion insulting and inching close to racism. I’ve known several white men with the name “Barack.” Its origins are Biblical and it means “blessed”. I myself was raised with a nickname, which I thought was cool as a teenager, but which I cast off as I grew older. In my case, I knew as soon as I started using my full name that I had made the right choice. There is much power in a name. Sometimes it serves to distinguish you in a world where it is easy to feel alienation and impotence.

Engineer-Poet / November 6th, 2008, 3:06 pm / #11

Quoth Tatiana Prophet:

It seems to me you’re drawing a curiously arbitrary conclusion about Barack Obama choosing to be “Barack” instead of “Barry.”

No, I’m contrasting him to “Bobby” Jindal, who made a conspicuous choice to align himself with the American majority culture.  Obama just as conspicuously made the opposite choice.  There’s nothing arbitrary about it.  Jindal is a religious wackaloon, but his choice of America as his cultural as well as physical home cannot be questioned.

I find your conclusion insulting and inching close to racism.

There is it again, that favorite way to dismiss an argument without addressing it:  the R-word.

There’s an enormous amount of racism in Obama’s background.  It probably began with the implicit Arab supremacism and black African inferiority of his early Islamic education, tipped when chose to follow American Black culture instead of what he had growing up with the Dunhams and went to Chicago, and reached a peak with the notoriously racist sermons of Jeremiah Wright.  He’s repudiated Wright, but not the philosophy from which Wright draws his views.

Obama isn’t going to get any more slack from me on these issues than someone who once followed David Duke.  They deserve scrutiny, and using the label of “racism” to imply that valid criticism isn’t even worth hearing is the cheapest kind of personal attack.

David Vaughn / November 6th, 2008, 4:45 pm / #12

I have a prediction to make. Within a year we will see many elements of the religious right characterizing Obama as the AntiChrist or, at the very least, as his forerunner. The greater the success of his administration (improved economy, stronger relations with Europe, increased standing in the world) the more vehement will be this characterization. Already guns sales are through the roof as second amendment enthusiasts prepare for what they believe will be an ultimate confrontation with their right to bear arms. Conservatism will regroup, but it will not be able to withstand the fanatical energy of the fundamentalists. Theirs is a religion of a psychotic break and they are all hooked together within their suppositional delusion. Ultimately they will fail because most people do not want to doom themselves to a life of eternal insanity, but once in, it is very difficult to free yourself from the hold of its deep-seated existential fear. Moreover, they are not really conservatives- at least, not intellectually. Their fealty is to a belief, a concretized vision of the future and whatever seems to bring this vision closer to reality will claim their support. Watch Sarah Palin and see how she positions herself. She understands them and she is both savvy and ambitious. If it is a foregone conclusion that she cannot win in 2012, she will not run, but she will make every attempt to be their champion. (Without them no one really takes her seriously.)
But this is only part of the picture. Fundamentalism is going to go into decline, along with tacit racism. I would love to see the real intellectuals of the Republican party realign themselves with the centrist Democrats because they bring a necessary dialectical balance to the unmitigated passion for social justice that provides the emotional core to the Democratic party. If this happens, we will not see another Republican President for many, many years. Barack Obama has the goods to make this happen, but ultimately, it is up to us to get up off our butts and start building a nation that we want to bequeathe to our children. We elected a President. We didn’t buy a season ticket to watch the Chicago Bulls

Crier / November 6th, 2008, 5:21 pm / #13

You’re all missing the point… well, not ALL of you.

It feels good for intellectuals to embrace Obama, because like it or not, he’s proven to have an understanding of the defining principals of objective equality. If you’re not convinced of this, just look at the facts.

-He strongly condemned prop 8 as unnecessary and unfair. (70 percent of blacks SUPPORTED this measure, proving race alone DOES NOT define his ideals or policies).

-He has articulated the importance of keeping church and state SEPARATE (Which makes any avid BSJ reader/supporter cream in their pants).

We cannot truly progress as a nation or as a people until we are willing to get past the idea that some groups are more deserving of constitutional rights than others; until we lay to rest ANY notions of racial or gender superiority; and, as many of us in the intellectual community feel, until the US of A is as it was intended to be by our founding fathers: A SECULAR NATION! It has been too long that scientific progress and technological innovation have been slowed by religious misconceptions and the discrimination they demand.

Believe what you will, but do it on YOUR time, behind YOUR closed doors. I am sick and tired of being told what to think and how to feel. I’m sick of my country condemning HARMLESS ways of thinking and living because they go against the good book of bankrupt philosophies. That is why I voted for Obama. NOT because I think he is a god or messiah, and certainly not because I think he is fucking Jesus. Hahahaha way to miss the god damn point.

I don’t think Obama is the answer to all our problems, but I do think he’s a refreshing step in the right direction. That was the point of this post, and that is the reason for all of the enthusiasm and excitement over his election to office. Now you can either get with the program and give him the support WE ALL need, or you can sit there with your dicks in your hands and wonder why Jesus let the bad guy win– though that may actually lead you to another good conclusion.

By focusing on our differences rather than our common interests, we continue to patch the buckling barrier that holds back reason, accountability, and progress. Well it IS buckling, and the election of Obama over McCain/Palin was a mighty blow! It is only a matter of time before more and more follow the example and pick up axes and sledge-hammers.

Bring it down baby!

Crier / November 6th, 2008, 5:34 pm / #14

@ David Vaughn.

I can definitely see a lot of that happening. I think we might actually see a surge in the libertarian party due to intellectual repubs being turned off by their fundamental base. Maybe this final clash of the culture titans will explode into more of a multi-party system. Whatever happens, I think we may be in for a bit of a bumpy ride.

gun sales are through the roof…

kinda scary

Fpnorton / November 6th, 2008, 6:23 pm / #15

If i may go back just a little bit, I just realized why my initial response was of a religious tone.

Too bad you can only think in religious metaphors.

The 10 “Obama Delusions” reminded me of the 10 commandments.

From every state in the union, every corner of the globe–Kenya, Australia, Europe and beyond, tears of joy are flowing this night. Obama is the closest thing we’ve ever had to a world president with a mandate. The only people who are not celebrating this momentous and historic occasion are those who still cling and grasp for the faded glories of fanatical nationalism, unprincipled authority, so-called purity, and those hide-bound by their traditions.

For the rest of us, it is a new dawn.

This all unfortunately sounds very familar.
Dominus Obama

Tatiana Prophet / November 6th, 2008, 6:47 pm / #16

Engineer-Poet:

Your own words reveal a great deal more about your views than mine ever could.

Sincerely,
Tatiana Prophet

Engineer-Poet / November 6th, 2008, 7:46 pm / #17

Quoth David Vaughn:

Already guns sales are through the roof as second amendment enthusiasts prepare for what they believe will be an ultimate confrontation with their right to bear arms.

Don’t you mean “Obama’s stated opposition to concealed-carry laws and favor of “reasonable” restrictions on guns, which in the historical record of the American left have no limit short of a complete ban”?

We’re not talking about hypotheticals here; the so-called “assault weapons ban” had nothing to do with assault weapons (which are full-auto or select-fire) and amounted to a prohibition on whatever the hard-left authors considered scary-looking.  We can expect more such attempts, DC vs. Heller notwithstanding.

Conservatism will regroup, but it will not be able to withstand the fanatical energy of the fundamentalists.

That can’t happen unless Obama is stupid enough to let his ideologues commit another series of atrocities like Ruby Ridge and Waco.  The way to prove all the fears false is not to prove any of them true.

Fundamentalism is going to go into decline, along with tacit racism.

No, we are already seeing an upsurge of racism… among blacks.  Fortunately the police haven’t been cowed into Politically Correct submission yet.

(If that link doesn’t work, it’s because BSJ is converting a double hyphen into a 3-character escape sequence.)

Engineer-Poet / November 6th, 2008, 7:48 pm / #18

Quoth Tatiana Prophet:

Your own words reveal a great deal more about your views than mine ever could.

“favorite way to dismiss an argument without addressing it”

I see I got it in one.

Amaterasu / November 6th, 2008, 9:53 pm / #19

~ ‘quoth’ Kevin Rudd, Australia’s Prime Minister:

“Senator Obama’s message of hope is not just for America’s future. It is also a message of hope for the world,” 6th Nov, http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/200811/s2411540.htm?tab=latest

Australian oppostion leader Malcolm Turnbull also extended his congratulations.
I don’t think these leaders, or the many others worldwide congratulating this historic victory, are suffering from Obama delusion.

To say otherwise, is just “Snarky Collusion”.

Crier / November 7th, 2008, 12:38 am / #20

@ E-P

Wow. you found racism on the internet. How astonishing. SO WHAT. I guarantee there were plenty of “kill that n****r!” chants in the heartland.

Jeez dude. No one said that all African Americans were supposed to be perfect. Nor did they say that racism is exclusive to whites. Are you suggesting that because We elected Barack Obama our president, that we somehow created racism in blacks? haha thats kinda silly dont you think?

No, we are already seeing an upsurge of racism… among blacks. Fortunately the police haven’t been cowed into Politically Correct submission yet.

Are you seriously listening to yourself? I dont know… I think you need to take a deep breath and ask yourself why you are REALLY mad. Is it because your guns might get taken away? I highly doubt it. That is the very last on our list of problems that need addressing.

Fpnorton / November 7th, 2008, 5:07 am / #21

@ E-P

Jeez dude. No one said that all African Americans were supposed to be perfect. Nor did they say that racism is exclusive to whites. Are you suggesting that because We elected Barack Obama our president, that we somehow created racism in blacks?

The point is you elected a racist whether or not you wished to see it. If the candidate was white and came from a church such as Dominus Obama you would have been branded him a racist and quickly removed from him the scene. However, because you obviously feel shame or guilt in your country, you have potrayed hims as victim who rose from the ashes of Harvard to become President of the United States.

One minor point, where did all the money come from he raised only 34% came from small donations. He owes a lot of people including the OIl Industry and Wall Street.

Again he is our President Elect, he will be afforded all due respect assuming he earns it.

paradise / November 7th, 2008, 10:52 am / #22

ONCE YOU GO BLACK, YOU NEVER GO BACK

Crier / November 7th, 2008, 11:36 am / #23

Sorry FP. Too much of what you’re saying is based on conjecture. You assume to know how he feels or what he believes based on associations. Not good enough.

I wonder why the GOP didn’t really go into the wright association.. Is it because they were scared of their rival’s ammunition? Or is it because they didn’t really have any themselves. the latter seems more plausible, noting the relentless tone of the rest of their campaign.

I guess we will just have to see…

I don’t know where he got all of his donations. I’m pretty sure it was well over 34% from small donations though. I’ll double check, but in any event, so what. You have no idea what anyone’s reason for investing in someone may be. What do you think you can assume with such incomplete information? Oil companies? Obama has been a serious advocate of alternative fuels since the begining. Either you get your sources from some conspiracy theorist site, or the oil companies think they’ll get something out of their investment. In which case you couldn’t possibly know what that something is.

Another thought. Oil Companies are not stupid. Don’t you think that their scientists have come to the same conclusion as all of us about peak oil? Where will there companies be in 50 years if there’s no oil left? Any smart business man is looking to the future, and they are going to start investing in an alternative.

Nancy Couick / November 8th, 2008, 12:46 pm / #24

Within 50 years, plain old white people won’t be the majority in the USA anymore, and that’s probably going to be true in California within 10 years. Hm.

I think this past election was a lot about youth vs. an old guy.

BTW, civil unions and domestic partnerships are NOT recognized in the California prison system. Amy might have two moms, but there’s a good chance she can’t get a family visit from both of them……

Rusty / November 9th, 2008, 9:44 am / #25

Excellent job, Black Sun. I truly agree with everything you wrote, but I love your first point best:

He is a top-level member of the educated elite, and for this we should rejoice….

Hard to imagine that this was ever used as a negative. But I think it’s kind of like this: lots of people enjoy, for instance, working for a boss who screws up sometimes more than someone who’s always right, always making them feel inferior…it makes them feel better about themselves.

But with shit hitting multiple fans in multiple ways, this comforting, unconscious tendency for certain voters lost a lot of power, IMHO. Remember: McSame graduated in the bottom .05% of his class at the Naval Academy.

Black Sun Journal » Hail To The Chief / January 20th, 2009, 3:01 am / #26

[…] And yet it is just the beginning. Finally, we have hope (previous article). […]

Bob / March 16th, 2009, 3:43 pm / #27

Obama takes his orders from the same Wall Street bankers that control McCain, Hillary, Bush, Pelosi, and the rest of the Illuminati traitors who are acting as puppet rulers. The Unites States is a dictatorship, disguised as a democracy. The real rulers control all of the major candidates, on both "sides," as well as the electronic voting machines. Obama's rising sun symbol represents the Illuminati sun-worship cult. Obama is a liar & a traitor, and is pushing our nation to complete ruin before our very eyes. Watch "The Obama Deception" on google video before it's too late.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=788678071

WAKE UP OBAMA ZOMBIES!!!

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