Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Michael Chabon, Obama vs. the Phobocracy

Brother Henry referred me to an essay by Michael Chabon, who wrote The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay:
The point of Obama's candidacy is that the damaged state of American democracy is not the fault of George W. Bush and his minions, the corporate-controlled media, the insurance industry, the oil industry, lobbyists, terrorists, illegal immigrants or Satan. The point is that this mess is our fault. We let in the serpents and liars, we exchanged shining ideals for a handful of nails and some two-by-fours, and we did it by resorting to the simplest, deepest-seated and readiest method we possess as human beings for trying to make sense of the world: through our fear. America has become a phobocracy.
Fear and those who fatten on it spread vile lies about Obama's religion, his past drug use, his views on Israel and the Jews. Fear makes us see the world purely in terms of enemies and perils, and leads us to seek out the promise of leadership, however spurious it proves to be, among those who speak the language of that doomed and demeaning, that inhuman view of the world.
Clinton has not shown herself to be above this fear. She perpetuates it, leverages it and even succumbs to it. In her campaign against Obama. Her fear of the ramifications of voting against the war. Her fear of losing funding and reputation from industry lobbyists... But watch Obama speak. His focus is unity, peace, problem solving, and healing without belittling the other side, without attacking character, without misleading and spinning so characteristic of politics over the last few years.

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posted by Brian at 4:00 PM


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