December 19, 2011 by Richard Drake
By Richard S. Drake — I’ll be up-front and admit that Barack Obama has never been never liberal enough for my liking, despite all of the hysterical hand-wringing about “activist judges” and “over-regulation” stifling America’s fabled job creators.
Also, I just read way too much to be impressed when someone starts nattering about his “socialistic” leanings; that sort of thing is only ever targeted at the paranoid and the unaware.
I have been thinking about this question of Obama’s chances of winning a second term in 2012 for quite some time now, and I have been disappointed with most of the political commentary I have read and heard on the subject. Most of it seems to be centered around the subject of the economy, which one has to admit is in pretty sorry shape these days.
But we know presidents don’t work in a universe-of-one; their efforts are helped or hindered by such factors as the world economy, wars, and even the United States Congress. We don’t elect magicians to the office of president.
This election is about much more than the economy, as recent ads from certain GOP candidates have made so crystal clear. When politicians and pundits talk about “taking this country back,” they aren’t just talking about the Obama White House, but the millions of Americans who voted for him.
The millions of Americans who wept the night he was elected, and sat at home and taped his Inaugural Address for their grandchildren. The Americans who cheered when George Bush left office.
The community organizers in this country, and the people they serve.
They want to take this country back from the poets, writers, factory workers, songwriters, steel workers, disabled folks, artists and men and women of all creeds and colors who saw something of themselves in the election of Barack Obama.
Hence the shameful attempts at voter suppression on the part of GOP-led state legislatures across the country.
They, much more than Barack Obama, are the real threat to the powers-that-be in this country. Politicians come and go. But movements? And the passions of the people involved in those movements? They don’t go away.
This is why the 2012 election campaign is so much more complicated.
Each and every one of the GOP candidates would take us back to a “Golden Age” that never existed, back to a fairy tale world in which round pegs would never dream of going into a square hole, and no one goes up the down staircase.
To a world where the words “Gay” and “activist” would never go in the same sentence, feminists are historical relics and poor kids serve food to their better-off friends in the school cafeteria — and later clean their toilets.
The economy will play a role in the election, but it should never be forgotten that Obama’s election was not just a repudiation of George Bush, but also a celebration of the rich complexity and diversity that is America today, something we should all revel in.
If we remember that, the answer is no.