Saturday, July 26, 2008

Gabor Steingart: Obama's Romantic Revolution

A good column from Der Spiegel (HT RBO from the new Weekend Top List ... new format works fine for me RBO). Steingart wrote,
The 200,000 onlookers who thronged to listen to Obama's speech should not deceive us. Listening is not the same as agreeing. Obama divides people, and not along traditional party lines.

It is, anyway, a great mistake to divide the voters in Western nations into left and right, aggressive and peace-loving, market orientated and critical of capitalism. In reality there are just two types of voters: the romantic democrats and the common-sense democrats.

The first type -- the romantics -- love the big moments and the pretty words. They prefer the higher tone and look at a politician's mouth first. They often have nothing but contempt for pragmatic politicians.

Then there are the common-sense democrats, who look at a politician's hands first. They are interested in what the politician does, not in what he or she says. They look for records of success and concepts for change and are often allergic to political preaching. Has the government really worked flat out for the people or has everything just been made to look that way? Does the candidate have solid alternatives or is he just a dazzler?

So far, Obama has been the candidate for the romantics. His skill lies in enchanting his supporters with words. Whatever is held against him, his supporters turn into his favor. The man is an unknown quantity -- no mud sticks to him! The man is measured -- no, he is visionary! He wants to save the entire world -- but it does desperately need to be saved, doesn't it?
Call me allgeric.

No comments: