Erle Frayne Argonza
Good morning from Manila!
The candidacy of Barak Obama had generated a lot of surprises and raised hopes about reversing the trends of economic decay and neo-conservative (fascist) aggression by the USA, henceforth catapulting the USA back to its role as a world leader and friend of the world’s nations. Not only in the USA but also overseas, did Obama capture wide audiences and sympathies, and his image is still moving up the ladder of meteoric ascent as of the moment.
Indubitably, the standard banner candidate of the Democrat Party for the 2008 Presidential Election, Barak Obama, is the Man of the Hour. Intelligent, charismatic, competent, and young, he exudes the aura of a Man of Destiny, and is the man to watch across the globe this decade till next.
Already, a personality cult has been spontaneously rising and interwoven with his personal character, all over the world. Putting this cult aside, I am declaring my sympathy for this candidate, and honestly say that he is an ally to many causes that I advocate. To repeat: Obama is an ally, and a leading ally, not an object of my cult worship. Let those superstitious cult worshippers hold Obama in the highest esteem as their messiah, I have no qualms about their superstition provided that they do not hurt other people whose reverence for Obama isn’t identical to theirs’.
I shall no more dwell on the means for catapulting him to meteoric ascent, as this is better done in some mass communications and political science classes or opinion pages. I would prefer to dwell on Obama’s savvy for public policy, he being a legislator for some considerable numbers of terms now. This to me is the most important feature of his competencies, as public policy will be the cutting edge of his presidency if ever. That includes both domestic policies (economics, welfare & social sectors, growth for the states) and foreign policy.
To sum up my preliminary observations about the man, Obama has what it takes to re-chart the USA towards a new life, as far as public policy is concerned. He knows what policies destroyed America’s economic base, what policy architectures and politico-military actions destroyed America overseas, and he knows what policy options to install in order to reverse the trends. And he has the constituencies to embark on bold policy initiatives, rest assured, even if those policies are unpopular to the elites of his country.
Based on his grasp of public policy, Obama can in fact boldly undertake a revolution in America and across the globe. Obamanomics can be crafted to replace the Reaganomics of the last quarter of a century that resulted to catastrophes in both the USA and across the continents. The thematic directions could very well integrate the state interventionist frames crafted by George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Friedrich von List, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, all aimed at promoting the general welfare, effecting prosperity and equity, and galvanizing national unity under the aegis of the US Constitution.
‘Obama Doctrine’ can be introduced in foreign policy, that can reverse the equally catastrophic neo-conservative (fascistic) unilateralism, global police aggressor deodorant, and anti-terror campaigns that destroyed nations and yet paradoxically led to the broadening and strengthening of terrorist forces worldwide. ‘Obama Doctrine’ may need to recast both the (a) Wilsonian civil rights advocacy and (b) Roosevelt’s New Deal advocacy of engaging America in the development of backward nations, (c) integrate both doctrines, and then use the new doctrine to foster lasting peace, international cooperation and prosperity in the entire planet.
The man has the sophistication to craft the core principles and concepts of his Revolution, I have no doubt about this. No matter how brilliant his core staff may be, he’s got the competence that enables him to exercise ‘relative autonomy’ from his technical team who can, in the end, add the flesh and tissues into the Obama core concepts. At the same time, Obama has the savvy to listen to his brilliant team people and the mass leaders that supported his candidacy, as listening is among his strengths that must have been tempered by his youth upbringing and grassroots work early in his life.
The last ingredient to his success, which should never be underestimated, is his coffers tactics. His candidacy having been funded largely by people’s donations rather than the elite’s purses, Obama is enabled to exercise a ‘relative autonomy’ from the patrimonial interests of America. This fact allows for a ‘14th Brumaire’ of American leadership, a direly needed element to strengthen the institution of both the presidency and the US Constitution. The ‘relative autonomy’, reinforced by a massive constituency, enables the presidency to use sticks against erring elites and emancipate state institutions from the enslaving claws of the Military Industrial Elites.
Obama brings hope not only to his fellow Americans but also to peoples across the globe who are so sick and tired of imperialistic wars, deaths, and the catastrophic effects of Reaganomics liberalization-privatization-deregulation oligarchic policies. Being an Asian observer, I’d urge my fellow Asians to give the trust to this great leader in the making, give him at least four (4) years to exhibit his performance level, and pray that peace and prosperity can be had globally under Obama’s reign over his federation.
Let’s give peace and prosperity a chance, and here is a man who can demonstrate that building our cherished dreams of peace and end to poverty are viable ones.
[Writ 22 October 2008, Quezon City, MetroManila]