[xmca] Why America will not turn to the left: reflection about the Obama Election

From: Michalis Kontopodis <michalis.kontopodis who-is-at staff.hu-berlin.de>
Date: Sun Nov 09 2008 - 04:17:05 PST

hallo again,

I have been very happy for the results of the recent election--at the
same time however also skeptical about how radical politics in USA may

Observer has just published an article reflecting this kind of
scepticism, which may be of interest: Why America will not turn to the

Paul Harris in New York
Sunday November 9 2008
The Observer

For sure ongoing history will reveal the real aspects of what we
cannot fully understand at this very moment. Here are some extracts I
chose (very selectively), and you may find the whole article on the
guardian.co.uk site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/nov/09/barack-obama-change-liberal-radical


Michalis Kontopodis

research associate
humboldt university berlin
tel.: +49 (0) 30 2093 3716
fax.: +49 (0) 30 2093 3739

Much of Obama's campaign was based on a solid middle ground. His
appeal, from his 2004 convention speech to his 2008 campaign, has
always been about unity. He fought the election by defending the
constitutional rights of gun owners. He supported the death penalty.
He ran on promises of tax cuts. His plans for healthcare were less
radical than those of either of his main Democratic rivals, Hillary
Clinton or John Edwards. He preached to black men about the importance
of taking responsibility for family life. His stump speech was often
enthused with religious values.

A look beneath the headline figures of the election also reveals that
America has not become a liberal nation over-night. McCain faced an
almost impossible environment for a Republican to run in. Yet he still
won 46 per cent of the vote. Obama's victories in North Carolina,
Indiana, Ohio and Florida were by only a few percentage points.


A recent survey showed that only 22 per cent of Americans identify
themselves as liberals. It should not be forgotten that McCain ended
the conventions ahead in the polls. It was only after the worst
financial crisis since the Great Depression that Obama managed to get
a solid lead. His win was no landslide like Roosevelt's when he took
48 states in 1936, or Reagan's 1984 win when he took 49. Indeed, Obama
still lost the white vote by 12 points and whites still make up 74 per
cent of voters.


Much of the country remains essentially centre-right. Just look at the
rejection last week of gay marriage in California.


Nowhere will this be more on display than in foreign policy, despite
the worldwide euphoria of last week. 'There is nearly always great
continuity in American foreign policy,' said Haas. Last week Obama
started getting the same daily intelligence briefings that Bush gets.
He will get one every day for the rest of his presidency. It is those
that are likely to shape his foreign policy far more than liberal

On 09.11.2008, at 02:20, Andy Blunden wrote:

> To american friends: you should know that the election of Barack
> Husseyn Obama as US President has had just as much an impact on the
> rest of the world as it has on your own country. We live in
> interesting times!!
> Andy
> Mike Cole wrote:
>> ... this post "A mutt like me" environment.
>> mike
> --
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ +61 3 9380 9435 Skype
> andy.blunden
> Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
> http://www.marxists.org/admin/books/index.htm
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Received on Sun Nov 9 04:18:53 2008

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