Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Election

I convinced a handful of people to boycott the election with me. We celebrated at Art Bar and stonefly, surrounded by hipsters who, like their suburban counterparts only think about political action once every four years and then think about it as an excuse to go out drinking. That's milwaukee though, if something isn't an excuse to go out drinking then it just isn't done.

There were televisions, and i watched them. They made me angry. Barak's acceptance speech said: "this isn't the change we want to see, this is the opportunity for us to make the change. There's a lot of work ahead." 5 minutes later the TV people were saying "Obama was very modest, i think THIS IS the change america has been waiting to see!" which of course implies that the actual substantive change is undesired. The disengagement of the american populace started an hour after the election was decided. Five minutes before Obama's speech the TV people said "america has proven to the world that we CAN do great things and make history!" No. When Nelson Mendala became president of South Africa, that was historic. In america, we shot all our Mendala's and then elected a minority decades later. That's not exactly historical.

There was bar trivia, and one of the teams that won called themselves: "this is a mandate for socialism" Really? the election of someone who shies away from that word is a mandate for it? how's that exactly? between now and january the american left is going to beleive that everything will be solved as soon as obama walks into the white house. 100 days later, the american left is going to be sorely disappointed, and will give up. That is, if Obama isn't shot.


spags said...

I agree with a lot of your points. Although this is a change from the last 8 years, I'm not convinced that it will be strongly significant change. The socialist claims are quite humorous, as Obama's fairly business-friendly, much more so than people think.

America was not ready for a black leader in the '60s, and wasn't terribly ready now. He didn't run as an African-American candidate, and his home (one white, one African parent) was not like most black households in the U.S.

Even still, I think it's a big step for this socially conservative, slow-moving country to warm to the idea of voting in Obama. However, it may have been just as much an anti-Bush vote.

Jeff said...

It isn't the perfect conclusion-- but what, under your criteria, would be?
I feel pretty good about it, especially compared to the conditions that you grew up into maturity in! There is a "participation mystique" between a leader and a nation-- I'm looking forward to seeing how this one plays out. It will be a while though, before we shake off the bad dream of the last 8 years.

Jonathan West said...

Pookie Bear Winsome. While you were drinking in a bar (do you see the irony in that, seated next to celebrants of the electoral process drinking in a bar) in met Joe Smith. Joe Smith is a middle aged white guy who prior to this election never considered walking door to door asking people if they have voted. But Joe Smith got a bug in his brain to help because someone was able to engender a sense of hope in Joe's middle aged white guy sagging belly. We almost had to sedate Joe Smith before it became obvious that he could leave the campaign office and hit the streets. I was lucky enough to be with Joe Smith as we hauled ass through a neighborhood where I was clearly the minority. I liked my night more than your night of trivial drinking. I mean, trivia and drinking? Could you be more frat boy ironic? I like your rhetoric, but it seems diluted when your response to not liking the electoral process is to have a couple of whiskeys and answer questions about who played the original Darren on BEWITCHED. I don't really believe anyone thinks that Barack Obama can change everything in the world into gold with the blink of an eye. But I do believe that for the first time in a long time in our nation, we have a remarkably intelligent unifier helping us all to think independently and become active leaders in our own communities.

Hope you at least won your triva game. Or, at the very, very least, got some play last night.

Rex Winsome said...


I don't drink. I never have.

I've met many a joe smith in my time. I've canvased on the street and raised thousands of dollars for a variety of causes. Dragged voters to the polls, attended protests, marched with signs. Been there, done that. When John Kerry threw all my work away in 2004 i promised i'd not waste my time with the democrats again until they started leading.

Obama looks like change, but he's as moderate as any other democrat. He still can't say "gay marriage" or "pro-choice" without a lot of careful maneuvering. I want an opposition party that leads, and the dems still aren't it, and they aren't going to get my help again until they become it.

I went to school with the express purpose of learning how to change and improve our society. I've researched activists and anarchists, militants and pacifists extensively. The game is written to block change, legitimizing the game by playing it participates in that blockage.

oui said...

I don't keep a blog anymore because attempting to express oneself on topics such as this always proves the limitations of the medium, and the audience, and the omni-present political paradigm which cannot change and would not be allowed to. Fortunately you do have access to, and talents in, a medium which is ideal for what I think you're blogging.

Rex Winsome said...

oui marquis, you are correct sir.

But blogging is so much EASIER!

oui said...

(so is drinking)

Rex Winsome said...

a quote from a much more cautious and articulate writer than i on this subject:

"The government of the state is profoundly important. And I think American voters picked a competent, decent, and sober executive officer. But this is not, headline writers, Barack Obama’s America. He is not your leader, any more than the mayor of your town is your leader. We are free people. We lead ourselves. He is set to be a high-ranking public administrator. Sure, there is romance in fame. But romance in politics is dangerous, misplaced, and beneath intelligent people. Were we more fully civilized, we would tolerate the yearnings projected on our leaders. Our tribal nature is not so easily escaped, after all. But we would try to escape it. We would discourage and condemn as irresponsible a romantic politics that tells us that if we all come together and want it hard enough, we’ll get it. We would spot the dangerous fallacy in condemning as “cynicism” all serious attempts to critically evaluate the content of political hopes."

Scott Walters said...

Irresponsible BS.