CTV: "Anger is replacing Hope"
You don't say.
Barack Obama's challenge: Anger is replacing hopeOh wait a sec... I believe I did say...
The Associated Press
Date: Monday Feb. 15, 2010 11:45 AM ET
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama won the White House with a campaign message focused on hope. Now he is trying to get himself on the right side of a remarkably different national sentiment these days: anger.
Obama's expansive domestic goals are largely the same, but his message is changing, now constructed around a concession that the public is disillusioned and wanting results. If he cannot show people that he understands their frustration and is working to fix it, the risks are real.
All that angst that Obama wants to harness as a force for change -- as he did in his campaign -- will turn against him. That means eroding public support for his agenda and potentially big losses for his party in congressional elections in November.
So it was telling when Obama offered this take on Republican Scott Brown's Senate win in Massachusetts last month, one that weakened the Democratic president's hand: "The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office. People are angry, and they're frustrated."
A new White House talking point was born, and it was hardly hope and change.
But I have several serious concerns today [Jan. 20, 2009], on what ought to be a great day.
Firstly, I think Mr. Obama essentially used the hype of "Hope" and "Change" to swoon the voters, and millions of people bought into it. Not that that's necessarily wrong, but I honestly think that he's raised expectations so high, that when people realize that he is indeed just a man, and not the "Omabassiah" some people think he is, there could end up being a whole lot of anger, and dashed dreams. While "Hope" is a tremendously positive thing, I think the inevitable letdown could be a whole lot worse than the euphoric feelings people have right now.
Secondly, I think a significant amount of the "positive" vibes he's getting out of people are not really "real". In fact, it's not genuine love and admiration for him that we're seeing today. I believe a large part of what we're seeing today is in fact a response, the flip-side if you will, of the virulent hatred that some people had for his predecessor, the 43rd President of the United States of America, George W. Bush. And "love" for one man, born out of the sheer hatred of another one, is a very dangerous thing indeed.
Now of course, I'm not saying that about the "common man" on the street. I've been watching the coverage, and watching the interviews of regular folks in the US, and I think their feelings are indeed genuine. The people I'm talking about are the partisans, the dyed-in-the-wool liberals. Their love for Obama, I suspect, is built largely on their hatred of Bush, and as such, is a truly dangerous house of cards for Obama to build his support upon. I actually fear somewhat for the guy, because they're liable to snap if he doesn't do things their way. Think of a jilted lover, running from the arms of one man into the arms of the first available passerby. That's what I think a lot of his "support" is predicated on.
And as such, I'm genuinely afraid for the American people today. That's why I'm not feeling very celebratory right now. I think he's used people's hopes and dreams to get elected, but built them up in such a manner that they're going to get let down really hard. And I think that the "love" of the man isn't so much love for him, but a result of the hatred of another man.
Either way, I think Obama has to walk very carefully.