U.S.: The Post-Modernity beyond tradition in the Barack Obama’s victory


Alberto Aune

This article was written in November 2008, after the victory of Barack Obama in the presidential elections in the United States.
Here the relationship between tradition, history and politics is analyzed.
It is important to consider the ideas presented here long ago, the situation in 2008 and the social and political changes in America and the rest of the world.

Since that arrival of English colonists aboard the Mayflower, fleeing the totalitarian domination in the Kingdom of Great Britain, there were many elections in the United States, both nationally and locally in its different aspects.
Much has changed with history, both from the influx of settlers until the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, and from then until last November 4.
One example is the counting of the votes. In the early days of the country the candidates put their hats so that voters placed in them, by choice, beans which World define according to the countdown the most voted (hence the term «bean counting»). Today is the issue of electronic voting, leaving behind any other system, but the spirit of respect for the majority of citizens has not changed.
However, the November 4, 2008 broke a tradition that was born before the U.S: presidential election had a profound religious sense.
This reality has not been explicitly stated in many opportunities, but at least it was always underlying. In some cases there was no greater contradiction between candidates of the two major political forces, the Democratic Party and the Republicans on these issues.
There were also times when the interests of the Nation raised a message of unity and respect for the opponent to help him during his tenure; it happened this way in the difficult times following the crisis of 1929 and the first and second world wars.
The choices between the primacy of religion and morality on one hand and of the politics and economics on the other are not mutually exclusive but rarely they were raised explicitly.
The last of them was in November 2004, when George W. Bush succeeded in re-election, issues such as the decriminalization of abortion, the authorization of marriage to same-sex, bioethics, experimentation with stem cells until the keeping of virginity until marriage were installed in the election campaign and helped the Republican victory.
In this regard priests, pastors, rabbis, imams and ministers of different religions, especially majorities and monotheistics, had much to do, and therefore in practicing homes the matter was dealt in the days before the election.
Last November 4 the social joined to the religious in the debate of the families’ affected by the greatest financial, economic and employment crisis that the United States has undergone in a long time.
The words of the religious leaders were not enought but the social aspecto also had influence, now in a decisive manner, to this an apparent lack of results should be joined, or perhaps not well reported by the media, in the war against terrorism.
Obama’s speech was accurate and arrived at the heart of many youths, who were attracted to vote for the words of a charismatic leader who promised to save America from the financial crisis, its consequences and other ills, so the result was ensured.
In addition two United States were confronted, or two ways of seeing the country and the world, participating in every one of them who held both positions previously mentiones: those who represent the state with the birth of the country and the immigrants who were being integrated over time.
At first the United States was religious, but then came pluralism and other schools of thought became strong, turning the country more receptive to different points of view. This wealth of varieties has led many to enter the “American dream”: to build a future in a country where everyone can share.
Within these immigrants is the family of Barack Obama, who went to the United States to fulfill this dream.
The ones Who built the U.S. did so with an imperial sense: no military at that time, although there were armed forces, but aid to democracy and fighting dictatorships. That attitude led to the nation, for example, to participate in the Second World War, when Nazi totalitarianism was razing Europe.
This empire is the one who runs risks today, as they had and fell in Rome, of which could give testimony Julius Caesar.
Before the elections, the now triumphant candidate spoke of solutions that now seem to take years, not being easy to get out of the problems in a more or less immediate way.
This situation raises the question of whether the elected president had not been alerted about the problems to the extent they deserved.
Some statements collected by the press have also caused concern, as that comment about the Americans who cling to arms and to religion in times of adversity, which could lead to think about a downgrading of self-defense and faith in God.
On the opposite side, Sarah Palin exalted be a family mother, which shows two different visions of the world, which in a first reading does not tend to complement each other.
Thus, for the first time the American people did not opted for those who put family, women, home and God first; this does not mean a disqualification but a simple observation of reality.
The U.S. relationship with the world is another issue that deserves to be considered, so extensive that exceeds this brief analysis.
From Italy, Berlusconi expects to talk with the new President, who believes to be «a little tanned»; Europe hopes definitions in economic issues, such as working together to move beyond the crisis and minimize the recession that is looming.
Moreover, Russia wants to know Obama’s position regarding the anti-missil barrier that, according to this country, is a provocation, an issue on which decisions must be taken soon.
A separate chapter is the Muslim world. Oil, politics, terrorism; everything is intertwined in a batter that shudders.
Muslim leaders have called on Obama to accept the faith of Islam, while Al-Qa’ida threatened with a superior attack than the one on September 11, 2001, which would produce major changes in the political, economic and social development of the world, to occur over a period not far away, on the express orders of Osama Bin Laden. A warning which should be taken into account.
The relationship with Latin America is another point that must be analyzed with responsibility.
During the presidential campaign there was a team of specialists in the region who advised Hillary Clinton, who was more prepared than her opponent in the internal to treat issues which were of interest to the south of Rio Grande.
However, several of these specialists were relegated after the triumph of Obama in the internal; regarding politics the particular ceded to the general and now it is necessary to have those who know in depth on the subject.
Some of the initial steps of Obama, which have transcended, would be: progressing in the socialization of medicine and education, implementing a strong duty to those who generate jobs and businesses, reducing expenditures on defense and armed forces; deactivation of military projects; reduction in diplomatic presence abroad; protection of the industry by means of applying high tariffs to European and Chinese products and give a more social than economic and political character to his administration.
The new president has privileged communication over the Internet, both in virtual communities like social networks, with a substantial base of websites and blogs with an untold numbers of volunteers.
This work, coupled with a fluid handling with the press, enabled him to get his message to the last American.
In 2004 Bush, after the election that gave his presidential re-election, talked with his Democrat Also pponent, John Kerry, about the need to unite the United States. That campaign had been a huge erosion in many people, even splitting up families and communities.
Now the situation is reversed. To leave aside principles, which guided the United States for centuries, can give a good return in the short term but in the long run will cause problems that will be difficult to solve.
The financial crisis that is increasing every day the amount of the victims, the fight against terrorism; the development of Latin America, the relationship with Russia, China and other countries in Europe, the fight against poverty and many other issues that would be long to enumerate require the U.S. unit.
There will be the first challenge for Obama, as many principles that he has arisen are not compatible with the tradition of their country. He should talk to find common ground. If only he could do this for the good of the United States and the rest of the world. Alberto Auné

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