Dreadful Genius

Another recommendation: “The Dreadful Genius of the Obama Moment

A pretty jarring analysis of the numerous problems left unsolved, and the problems created by the Obama election.  I’m worried that my own focus on the symbolic/rhetorical elements of politics sometimes distracts from the real material facts of US exceptionalism.  We really do have a war on most of the world, with terrifying implications.

I feel very conflicted.  On the one hand, I know that no matter how right you are, you have to be able to effectively communicate and organize people for your voice to matter.  In the current political environment, trying to take ‘hope’ head-on and out and out deny that people should enjoy Obama’s election feels like political suicide.  On the other hand, I know that arguments about ‘effectiveness’ can straight-jacket real dissent, and prevent people from saying what needs to be said about Obama and the violence of the US government.

I guess my real feelings go something like this: I agree with the commenter on the article above that the real alternative is to ask people to hope further.  What did we hope for?  Was it Rahm Emanuel and a return to the Clinton foreign policy?  Or are we really hoping for an end to racism (white supremacy), and something more fundamentally just in the world?


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