Thursday, 8 November 2012

Politics of identity and the dividing of America

Andrew Bolt,Herald Sun (Australia)
"BARACK Obama should not have been re-elected President. That he was tells us elections are now decided less by heads than hearts. Is America better off after four years already of Obama? More Americans - 7.9 per cent - are unemployed. The country is even deeper in debt, now totalling a frightening $16 trillion. Obama’s foreign policy has left America, if anything, weaker. Obama, who four years ago promised such a transformative presidency that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”, has plainly failed. Yet he’s back in the White House, and Republican Mitt Romney, the successful businessman and governor is not. Worse for the US, he’s back with the same deadlock in Congress - Democrats controlling the Senate, Republicans the House - and a smaller mandate. What the hell happened? In a victory this narrow almost anything can be said to have made the difference: Superstorm Sandy blowing away Romney’s momentum, the blame-Bush hangover or whatever cause you want to push. But Obama should have been swept away so comprehensively as to make such if-buts pointless. Bigger shifts help him, signalling the rise of a new kind of politics that could leave the US weaker, and us, too. This election confirms the suspicion that the politics of seeming is trumping that of achieving. That what counts most in politicians is how voters “identify” with them, rather than what they do. It also suggests that a culture of entitlement is eating at a culture of achievement."

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