Saturday, November 29, 2008

Obama : Psychology and Philosophy of the Alientated

When examining Barack Obama's philosophy of government along with his respective stances on all the various issues, a pattern reveals itself. He is on the side of the alienated: First, from his own experience (Epistemic privilege is not foreign to his thinking ). Secondly, from reasonable inference and deduction: With Sir Thomas More, Obama would appear to hold to the philosophical concept that "we first make criminals, then punish them".

For all this, he is constitutionally inclined to care for suffering. He is sensitive in his nature, and the literary community recognizes the poetic talent in his writings. I am not one who separates philosophy and ideology from the psychology of persons. Obama has the air of the mystic about him. Even in his adolescent pictures, his eyes reveal a dreaminess and wistfulness which are highly unusual. His lips are molded finely, and set softly but firmly: the mouth of a poet and dreamer. In person, he is remarkably fluid: With eyes that can sparkle, flash anger, or brood softly; elegant hand gestures; charisma which is veiled, but potent in its understatement. Obama gives us the whole man: Far from perfect; he is full of faults, unfinished business, and conflicting ideologies. But he is robust, and sincere, and full of honest energy. He is not bland, or dull. He is vital and dynamic, and not static and blocked.

It is my belief that our times demand such a person as our leader. The GOP has adhered to an ethics of egoism and brute force which has degraded and vulgarized our culture. I do not think chance played a part in this election: Necessity had dictated his victory, and although I fretted and worried myself sick throughout the primaries and general election seasons, I did often assert to family, friends and associates that it was more or less "ordained by the times" that Obama would become our 44th president. We stood in need of a real man, a full person, struggling and alive in every sense, and in tune with the real desires, fears, and joys of his generation.

In ideology, he is also appropriate. Kantian universalism in ethics holds sway even in our splintered times of multiculturalism. Obama has the Kantian aspect insofar as he is deontological, serious in his belief in duties and inherent rights, and he is a unifier. His talk of "one America" is not rhetoric, and is an indictment of the GOPs social darwinism which began in the Reagen '80s, and which is perishing in its own self-constructed negation.

It is a frustrating aspect of democracy that change must come slowly, and is often counter-balanced by backlash and stalled ideological struggles. On some level, it is extremely comforting to know Obama is in charge now; on another, one knows that nothing as dramatic as a new order is in the offing. But there will be a move in that direction.

I am not upset to see the end of the 90s prosperity . I am no fan of peace which comes without justice for the disenfranchised of our social order. I hate hypocrisy and sanctimonious speech. At least when looking at Obama , I see a man: a whole man, who has overcome psychological struggles, and has felt himself to belong to the type of the outsider. Politics is a sorry business, but it is part of society, and although it does not reach deep within the human soul, it does effect it. All in all, Obama as president is a very good thing. "And so now bad begins, but worse is left behind. . . "

1 comment:

Frederico Chevez said...

Yeah, social Darwinism has plagued this nation and alot of the 80 and 90s were going right back to that 19th century mentality. "politics is a sorry business", aint it the truth.

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