Friday, July 25, 2008

We want Obama - Open Source and Economist

My podcast source for the American elections, The Economist's blog  Democracy in America, which is included in The Economist's podcast, is joined by the podcast Open Source with two issues. Somehow, it is all about Obama. It seems McCain is but a candidate; Obama is a phenomenon, not just a national phenomenon, he is a phenomenon of supranational proportions. He triggers fascination in all worlds and it's who he is and what his person stands for, rather than his politics that make him so.

On The Economist, Bill Barnard addresses this in the most straightforward way: Obama represents a minority and the chances a man from the minorities has in a great democracy to achieve the highest office. If you think this is about race, nobody agrees. This reaches further. On Open Source, Anthony Barnett and Kanishk Taroor, characterize Obama as 'metro-racial', a product of the endless intermingling that is so modern. No matter how you call it, Obama is attributed the magic of hope that appeals to everybody, all over the world, and by virtue of that alone is the most mesmerizing candidate, comparable to John F. Kennedy in 1960.

George Lakoff, continues on Open Source to analyze Obama's strength from the perspective of brain science. He basically explains in terms of the mechanics of our brain what is described in more emotional terms above. But to my taste he goes slightly over the top. I can't go along with his conjecture Obama finally does right what Reagan did right before him and what the Democrats have done wrong for decades. If it were so crude, you can not explain why the last elections were decided by tiny margins rather than land slide victories.

In any case, magic of Barack Obama is so strong, the podcasts cannot hide, even if they try, their profound preference for his election.



More Open Source:
The end of Hegemony,
Go for a walk with Open Source.

More from the Economist:
Getting comfortable with Obama,
Democracy in America - podcast review,
Issues of Race,
The primary system,
The Economist in New Hampshire.

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4 comments:

Julie D. said...

One must also recognize that it depends on which podcasts you are listening to. In any presidential contest there are two sides (sometimes more!) and not everyone agrees that "Obama is the way." :-)

The man called Anne said...

I am sure there are pro-McCain and maybe even truly impartial podcasts, but I do not know them. I had been following both the Economist and Open Source for quite some time and never really paid attention to any bias.
Besides, being a total outsider makes me somewhat indifferent to the bias, and if I could have detected earlier, I simply didn't because it is not that important.
With Dutch or Israeli podcasts, I'd notice it immediately. Or even know in advance.

Julie D. said...

I don't know if it is recognized by the media themselves as bias but for those of us here, it is recognized that the media tends to fawn on whatever Obama does and says and virtually ignore all others. This is probably best acknowledged by the fact that it is a source of "everybody knows it" humor on such shows as Saturday Night Live which had skits over several episodes pointing that out about Hilary versus Obama. Lately, one can see these sorts of articles also in The Onion. Such as this iece. I'm just sayin' ... :-)

The Man called Anne said...

You seem not to like this kind of hype. In the mean time, I have not found a less biased or a McCain favoring podcast. On the contrary, on UChannel, Tom Barnett lectures about geopolitics (the pentagon's new map) and during the Q&A he has a real jibe for McCain, whom he regards as outdated and unable to adapt to the new geopolitics. Obama on the other hand.... I think you get the picture.
Would you have a listening tip for me?