Sometimes a fundamental shift occurs in the course of a region, a country, or even the world. It’s not a case of “you could go this way or that way” so much as a fundamental change of nature. It happened with the discovery of Asia, then again of the New World. It happened with electricity. It happened with the Manhattan project. It happened with Apollo. So, with the excitement surrounding Obama, I have to wonder, is he a game changer?
What I mean by that is, can he fundamentally alter the way America is operating? The cynical (realistic, perhaps) side of me says that no, both because he’s just one person and because he is still essentially a politician. Certainly in some ways he’s acted like most politicans, but in other ways he really has seemed to be different. People talk about how he is a statesman, and to some extent it’s true. Antoher thing, I think, is that he is very, very intelligent. One would think that that would be true of all prominent politicians, but I think that you’ll find that he has shown himself to be generally much more nuanced in his views. And finally, and the reason I think it’s worth asking this at all, he is extremely charismatic. Other presidents have been charismatic, but I don’t know that they have also had the other traits to the same extent. And other presidents have been very intelligent, but they’ve rarely been as charismatic.
So, again, the question. Can Obama acheive a fundamental shift in the way Americans view government, and in what government does? Will he follow through on the open government he has talked about, and if so, will it be carried on by others? That would be a very, very powerful change for our government to make, and I think it really would help us as a country. But can he, and will he?
So yet again, I ask you: do you think Obama is capable of this? Will the optimists be right this time?