Obama as the Repudiation of Generational Failure
Obama is surging to victory in New Hampshire, currently holding a 7.6% lead across a remarkable eleven polls taken since Iowa. That makes his post-Iowa bounce anywhere from 10.6%--16.2%, depending on how one calculates polling averages. At this rate, he should be able to surge into a national lead by Friday, at the latest. While there is no guarantee that such a lead will last, and no guarantee that Obama will go on to win the nomination, clearly he is the frontrunner right now. An Obama nomination appears to be the most likely outcome of the Democratic primaries right now.
In some ways, an Obama victory would be a very, very good thing. The truth is that, as a nation, we failed from 1994 to 2007. We failed to expand health care coverage. We failed to stop the increasing corporatization of our lives and vicious exploitation of the Third World. We failed to close the income gap, either nationally or internationally. We failed to stop global warming. We have failed to respond to the threat of peak oil. We failed to stop a Presidential election from being stolen. We failed to stop the war in Iraq. The end result of these failures is that the Apollo Program of this era in American history is the war in Iraq. That's right--instead of doing something like, say, going to the Moon or stopping global warming, we invaded Iraq. In every political aspect, America has failed its generational role as a world leader in the post-Cold War era. While I refer to this as a generational failure, it is not limited to Americans of any age group. It isn't a failure of Boomers or Gen X or the Silent generation, or any of that. It is a generational failure in the lifespan of our country where we failed to live up to the promise of our nation. All adult Americans alive during that time period share a role in our failure.
It wasn't all bad during this era. While we failed in the political realm, we do have the amazing cultural and intellectual achievement that is the explosion of self-publishing content on the Internet. I fully believe that this is a cultural outpouring equal to that found in any other generation of human history. Optimistically, it also seems to possess the ability to rebuke and displace the leaders who led to our current state of failure. The Internet has become the nexus of self-organizing for all those movements and campaigns that have sought to overthrow our ruling regime of failure in America. The Barack Obama campaign, even though it is somewhat more "in house" than other movements and campaigns, is no exception to this rule.