End the Obama Hysteria!

Ok, so there is a new American president and no one may be worse off for that. Hoorah, congratulations and so on. What I don’t understand, however, is the level of hysteria accompanying his candidacy and inauguration. Please stop it.

A few examples:

CNN reports:

“My fervent prayer is that there will be peace on Earth in all nations, and let all countries unite together to make this dream come true,” said iReporter Shari Atukorala of Kandy, Sri Lanka. “To the President-elect Barack Obama: Sir, you can do this for all of us.”

In Chicago

“at least five people were arrested across the city after Barack Obama’s rally in Grant Park, including a woman who slapped a Chicago police officer, saying police couldn’t arrest her anymore, prosecutors said today.
Most of the others celebrated the historic occasion with gunfire.
Celita Hart, 19, stood silently in court today when she appeared for a bond hearing.
Prosecutors said Hart, who is black, yelled ” ‘White , McCain–you white police can’t do nothing anymore.'” With that, she reached through the window of a squad car and slapped a white male officer in the face, according to Assistant State’s Atty. Lorraine Scaduto.”

Click the above link. The title of the story is “Some mayhem, arrests after Obama rally”. I love that. Some mayhem … that’s grand.

Danish media and the public have been not been exemplary either. During the campaign Obama was portrayed as a kind of social democratic black Jesus-figure who would magically transform the state of the world into peace and happiness. Danish social democrats have hardly been able to contain themselves with joy.

And the wishful thinking continues. On a Danish web-site for communication professionals professor Christian Kock wrote this “analysis” of Obama’s inaugural address (my translation):

“it was surprising that following only a recognition of George Bush and his “service to the nation” Obama was extremely concise about all the political subjects where his administration would do something completely different than the predecessor and make right the mistakes of the past: “we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics” … ” the time has come to set aside childish things” … ”stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply”.”

End paragraph.

Christian Kock is a professor at the University of Copenhagen. More so than in other countries, achieving the title of full professor in Denmark is extremely difficult. It’s expensive for the universities and they tend to prefer associate professors instead. The job they do is more or less the same anyway. The fact that Christian Kock is a full professor shows that he is extremely qualified within an area the university finds important. In this case, Christian Kock names his main research areas, interests and competencies as: theory of rhetoric, history of rhetoric, reception aesthetics, argumentation, political debate, theory of presentation, written presentation and pedagogy.

All those qualification and yet he finds that “an end to petty grievances”, “false promises”, “worn out dogmas”, “childish things” and “stale political arguments” accurately describe Obama’s political focal points. Those terms can mean absolutely anything you want them to mean. Tellingly professor Kock is unable to describe exactly what it is Obama wants to do other than: “do something completely different”. Great!

This is embarrassing.

Foreign policy is driven by events. I predict that some serious event will come along and test Obama’s resolve and backbone. Having to deal with the threat of being portrayed as weak by his critics in the US he will opt for a tough military response. This will strengthen him internally but the enemies of the West will be confirmed that nothing has changed.

Besides, who in their right mind actually believes that just because Obama is president, Iran will not continue developing nuclear arms? That North Korea will end its blackmailing of the world with nukes and long-range missiles? That China will halt the build-up of force projection capabilities, threatening Taiwan and expanding its sphere of influence into South Asia and the Indian Ocean? That Hamas and Hezbollah will stop hating and launching attacks against Israel? That the genocide in Sudan will stop? That African leaders will pull themselves together and finally deal with Mugabe? That Hugo Chavez will suddenly come to his senses and give up his dream of becoming a dictator for life?

Pull yourselves together people.