My blogami, Marc, sent me an article today by humorist/journalist Joel Stein of the L.A. Times entitled, He’s Got Obamaphilia. It’s a great title and it made me laugh. The catchline below the title reads: “It’s embarrassing to be among the fanatics of a relatively mainstream presidential candidate.” The satirical gist of the article is summed up in the lead paragraph (they teach you to do that in journalism school.)

You are embarrassing yourselves. With your “Yes We Can” music video, your “Fired Up, Ready to Go” song, your endless chatter about how he’s the first one to inspire you, to make you really feel something — it’s as if you’re tacking photos of Barack Obama to your locker, secretly slipping him little notes that read, “Do you like me? Check yes or no.” Some of you even cry at his speeches. If I were Obama, and you voted for me, I would so never call you again.

Stein goes on to admit that he has been infected with Obamamania, going so far as to write, in what Marc pointed out is the best line of the piece, “I want the man to hope all over me.” Mr. Stein’s humorous essay gave me quite a few giggles; he’s a witty journalist and very funny. However, as well done humor often does, he made me think about the serious matter underlying his essay.

As I read news and blogs across the Internet, I encounter those who think that we (Obama supporters) have lost site of the man and become enamored of the movement, in other words we are infected with Obamamania to the extent that we are embarrassing ourselves in succumbing to hope that Barack Obama can make a difference.

I don’t see anything embarrassing or naive about viewing Obama as a living symbol of the possibility of a government that actually focuses on meeting the needs of the people. Besides, Obama doesn’t believe that he can change the world; he believes that we can change the world. There is a big difference.

The video features Sam Cooke singing “A Change Is Gonna Come.” I am so addicted to YouTube.


4 responses to “We

  1. I say, if Joel is right, so wha? Maybe the world needs a little more willingness to be embarrassed, to take a risk, to dive blindly into a lake of unjustified optimism! If we view the problems of the world with unvarnished sobriety, the only realistic stance is to throw up our hands and cry. This is my tendency–thank Heavens someone like Barack can get even get me hoping. He’s right–it IS audacious. Way more audacious than the nerd asking the cheerleader out to the prom. But look at Bill Gates and Roger Clemens. Some times nice guys do finish first.

  2. I mean Bill Gates COMPARED to Roger Clemens. The nerd way outdoing the jock. Though I don’t know how nice Bill Gates really is. He probably has all that money because he was pretty ruthless in business. I should have quit while I was ahead.

  3. It is so time to roll the dice. And I completely agree with Sheria’s assessment: ‘He didn’t say I can change the world. He said ‘we can change the world’. I’m ready to believe. Or as he also said (along with others): we are the people we’ve been waiting for.

    I’ll eventually get around to a fleshed-out version of why the Democrats need to get behind Obama.


  4. I don’t relly get it. What’s the complaint? That people are too enthusiastic, that they’re too engaged? Personally, I’d rather see people taking notice, being involved, hell, even tacking posters or Obama on their bedroom walls and scrawling “I [heart] Barack” on their pencil cases than being apathetically disengaged from politics. Plus, as you point out, Obama’s not claiming to be the Messiah, only to encourage people to believe that together they can make a difference. All good, I reckon.
    BTW, spooky that you posted that Sam Cooke vid. I’ve been watching a doco series on TV called “Soul Deep: The Story of Black Popular Music” and a coupla weeks ago they did a show devoted to Sam Cooke with that track as the highlight. Such a great song.

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