Monday, December 15, 2008

Too Good To Be True

Arguably many in the US electorate made the historic vote to install Obama as the next president because of the many glowing promises eloquently demonstrated and bared during his long campaign for the presidency. The collective promise that almost sounded like a planned trip to the Promised Land.

But which Promised Land?

As it stands even before Obama can sit as president the idea of a Promised Land for the US is more like the Land of Perdition. Everything appears to be unraveling – from both the political and economic spheres. Needless to mention, we are beset with extremely bad news about most everything that affects us, and we appear to console ourselves with the less than consoling idea that things are not as bad as many think they are. Which may be true in some instances. So have we now geared down the road of unwanted mode of low expectations, rather than aim high in keeping with the traditional and expected adherence to the US as the land of exceptionalism? Locals would express it this way, about getting resigned with the consuelo de bobo prize.

Were the campaign promises too good to be true? And did the electorate those who voted for Obama at least realized a priori that those were out of reach?

Many pundits are now juxtaposing Obama’s case with that of the most current financial scandal involving Madoff and his very select country club clientele. – of promises too good to be true.

After all Obama in the grandest of eloquence promised to lead us out, among other things, away from the “eight years of failed economic policies of Bush” and to remold America back into its once adulatory global status. And almost with biblical references he made commitments to environmental changes that approximated to waving off the rising oceans and instantaneously creating jobs that would make avid green proponents proud. He even repeatedly promised to cut taxes to 95% of the population, and if one did not pay any taxes, just the same one would get a “rebate” check. And with regard to the war on international terrorism and nuclear arms proliferation, he came out as appearing to promise that unilaterally the US will dismantle its nuclear arsenal, as a grand earnest gesture to the rest of the world in the holy pilgrimage leading toward total global disarmament. Iran’s stubborn and pesky nuclear plans notwithstanding.

But now that campaign rhetoric has been consigned to archives of past elections, with the same haste as the physical reminders of the last elections such as campaign posters, banners, etc. had been promptly carted to landfills, (except maybe for car stickers for the winners which have eternal life spans all their own. Even saw one (Obama in ’08) plastered as accessory to a newly customized Toyota Land Cruiser here in the old hometown.), what are our reasonable and realistic expectations for the coming presidency? Or were we as the electorate ever reasonable and realistic in our expectations of both candidates, but Obama especially since he promised what amounts to the Promised Land, to many of us?

Can many of us be likened to the many educated, successful, and experienced clients who got had by the likes of Madoff and his cohorts?

Did they and we, a majority of us anyway, ever sensed that the glowing promises made were too good to be true? Not aptly backed with traceable and discernible records?

But anyway committed and made good with our foregone decisions?

Que sera.