Don’t write Barack off just yet

We are so fickle. Just two months ago, and for a year leading up to then, everyone was filled with passion about a man named Barack Obama. Now, all kinds of people that thought he was great have already given him up for lost. Homosexuals feel sold out because Rick Warren, classic homophobic preacher, was chosen to give his inaugural. Hippie peaceniks (“doves”, some call themselves) were done wrong because an experienced Republican was appointed Secretary of Defence. And he has not even fixed the economy yet! Let me tell you something about those people.

Those people were going on faith. Faith is dangerous, my friends, a dangerous cocktail of chemicals that makes you lose your mind. Faith is the abdication of reason by deliberately believing in the unbelievable. We had only the vaguest idea of what Barack would be like as president. How could we? From a good campaign? From being senator? How could you know what kind of CEO I would be for Google? From having been president of AIESEC Victoria? But 1.7 trillion people around the world rallied round him nonetheless. They had expectations of him that were so high one would think he was the new messiah. The new messiah had come to solve all the world’s problems.

This was to be an era of change, as if one man could change everything. An era of peace, as if one man, all powerful and popular, could convince all the world’s nutcases to get down from their missles. A new era of prosperity, because the biggest economic crisis in decades would evaporate as soon as the new president took office. Discrimination, inequality, environmental degradation: all were to be things of the past thanks to our man, Barack. Of COURSE he was not going to fix these things in two months. What were these people thinking?

So now you are disappointed? Serves you right. The same people who predict the second coming of Christ and then frown when he fails to materialise may take heart that they are not the only ones whose hopes were a little high. Now you feel betrayed? You betrayed yourself when you forgot that Barack is just a man. A man, no matter how gifted, cannot solve all of our problems. In fact, many gifted people are the ones who have caused some of them.

How is government supposed to fix a world messed up by government? If Barack does not fix all the problems we have thrust upon him, perhaps more people will come to realise that government is the problem and not the solution. I wonder if ten people chosen off the street at random could be as good a cabinet as a group of old, white men and the occasional woman for show. But that is another discussion.

Those who did not jump on the barackwagon should not be feeling smug either. The fact is, Barack simply has not had time to get anything done yet. It is still too early to judge him. I say, give him four more years, and we will put it to a vote. Is that fair?

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