Orwell as antidote to Obama


Last week I posted this in regard to Barack Obama’s profoundly ineffectual performance as president. Next time I feel exasperated, I’ll re-read Russ Baker’s words:

…But why should people be surprised by Obama? The system only lets “system types” thrive and get to the top. The only system types who shake things up are those who derive the confidence to do so from their own privileged background, like FDR and JFK. Obama himself was merely the representative of the fact that certain “acceptable” people of mixed race with proper demeanor and “credentials” would now be welcomed to the feast if they behaved properly. He never really established a track record of leadership or boldness prior to running for president. People just fell in love with their projection of what “Yes we can” meant…

To see the truth spelled out in common-sense terms is a reminder that Obama was a disaster we should have seen coming, if only because the promises he made in his speeches always proceeded from the facile notion that “democracy” would magically solve the country’s daunting problems. This is from an Obama press conference in 2009:

The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose.

Pretty words, but I prefer what Baker wrote, and George Orwell’s clarity in “Politics and the English Language”:

…In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way…

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One Response to Orwell as antidote to Obama

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