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.