FEATURE ARTICLE

Moshood FayemiwoThursday, November 8, 2012
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Chicago, Illinois, USA

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AMERICA IN THE AGE OF OBAMA

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resident Barack Obama won his re-election resoundingly and won big; with the twin-mandates of the American National Popular and Electoral College votes. The Romney Campaign team and the Republican Party were dumbstruck. The talking heads and hollow pundits at Fox News were shell-shocked. Obama crushed Romney in all the swing states. After spending more than $3billion for a- $1.6million salary for 4 years as president, Gov. Romney and his billionaire financiers only won two states-actually one state since Indiana is a traditional Red State-as return for their investments. We don't know yet the type of grief therapy appropriate for Gov. Romney and his supporters but make no mistake about it; the GOP will never be the same again.

But for those of us in Chicago and have our ears to the ground, the drubbing Romney got from Obama were foretold. I predicted last week how and why Obama would win re-election. Something new is stirring in America and these are exciting times to be an American and live in the United States depending on which side of the socio-political divide one belongs to, in what potentially appears to be a war over the soul of the United States of America. This is not a racial war but a social war between the tiny one percent plutocratic elite that controls America and the rest de-marginalized ninety nine percent trying to make it. It is a class war between "them" and "us." Right now, there is a simmering war between the "haves" and the "haves-not," the upper-crust privileged class who are determined to maintain the status quo and the toiling masses fighting hard to keep their heads above the waters in the United States. These diametrically opposed social classes in America have antagonistically co-habited peacefully for more than two centuries because of the existence of a vibrant and robust middle class. The latter has traditionally been the bulwark against open social unrest by the masses against all the excesses and oppression of the bourgeois class against the American hoipolloi. The middle class is the working class and the group that gave rise to the well-known cliché of the pursuit of "The American Dream."

When James Truslow Adams coined the phrase; "The American Dream," in 1929, the American Middle Class was being squeezed and threatened with extinction by the Great Depression caused by President Herbert Hoover of the Republican Party. Hoover's mindless economic policies such as "trickling down" economic policies, avuncular philanthropy and laissez faire de-regulated commerce caused, unarguably the greatest economic kerfuffle the United States and the world had ever seen. Mr. Adams knew that all human beings do dream but in America, her exceptionalism was and still is defined by the middle class. He said that "The American Dream is that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position." It was this American Dream that led to the Civil Rights Movement. The Feminine Movement of the 1920s was anchored on this dream and the quest for the American Dream was (and still is) the nectar that draws millions across the world to this land of power, privilege and opportunities. In 1929, this American Dream was seriously being threatened and Hoover and his Republican Camp (called the Ownership Society) wanted to take it out of the reach of everyone.

The Great Depression would have caused a social revolution in America but for two reasons; the birth of the first socialist state in the Old Union of Soviet Social Republic (USSR) and the historic election of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in March 1933. President Roosevelt of the Democratic Party refused to shake hands with President Hoover at his swearing-in ceremony and inauguration who he appropriately blamed for causing the economic crisis. President Roosevelt moved quickly to restore the American Middle Class by introducing populist programs such as the Social Security Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, (FDIC), the Federal Relief Emergency Administration (FEMA), the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), the passage of the National Labor Relations Act and other social programs making housing, education, affordable food, employment opportunities and other poverty-alleviating programs accessible for all Americans. Traditional opportunities that Americans had taken for granted were restored and Americans rewarded FDR with three uninterrupted terms of 12 years as president till he died in office in 1945. American voters were so disillusioned with the Republicans and sorely afraid to see the Republicans at the White House that they gave FDR's successor; President Harry Truman, another two terms in office till 1953. For 20 years, the Democrats kept the White House and as I explained in my piece last week, Americans are prepared once again to keep the Democrats at the White House for the next 12 years from 2016 to 2024.

President Obama understood this social inequality in America very early during his years at Occidental College, Columbia and Harvard and exposed them in his oeuvres. His concretization of these social reactions in America formed the major themes in his magnum opus, The Audacity of Hope. While here in Chicago as a community organizer, he rued his inability to make changes to these socio-economic inequalities outside the corridors of power and said as much in Dreams from my Father. That was why he turned down a lucrative job offer on Wall Street after he graduated from Harvard. According to Obama, "Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it's only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential." Until we understood the call to a higher purpose and a selfless service greater than self that drove Obama to the Oval Office, we would not understand why Obama crushed Romney last Tuesday and his true mission in American history. He is not a socialist.

This man fervently believes he is a change agent in America and he told the world openly why he is the One as he declared his presidential run in Springfield here in Illinois on February 27, 2007 "I'm in this race not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation." The transformation he meant has been misconstrued by the GOP and his traducers as "free stuffs" but Obama calls it Hope and defines it thus: "Hope is what led a band of colonists to rise up against an empire; what led the greatest of generations to free a continent and heal a nation; what led young women and young men to sit at lunch counters and brave fire hoses and march through Selma and Montgomery for freedom's cause. Hope is what led me here today-with a father from Kenya, a mother from Kansas; and a story that could only happen in the United States of America. Hope is the bedrock of this nation; the belief that our destiny will not be written for us, but by us; by all those men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is; who have courage to remake the world as it should be." There are historical dialectics at play right now in America and Obama knew these dialectical currents.

He repeatedly reiterated these extant social forces shaped by history during his various stumps, both in 2008 and 2012. His intention in politics, he disclosed, was not just to preside over the greatest and most powerful nation on earth but to alter the United States forever. To accomplish this task of social engineering in all facets of American life, it would take more than two Obama Administrations and even more than two Democratic Presidents. Here is the plan; a two-term Obama Administration, followed by a Hillary Clinton Administration in 2016 with a Latina/Hispanic Vice-President between 2016 and 2024 and a Latina/Hispanic President between 2024 and 3032. This is not a conspiracy theory but highly-placed sources that just pulled the historic feat of Obama Campaign few days ago are already working toward Hillary Clinton Presidential Project in 2016. President Bill Clinton, like Obama knows the history of the United States very well. If Hillary Clinton doesn't offer herself for the job, a woman of her stature will be Obama successor. But a caution here: President Obama should and must be very, very careful to be alive to finish his second term till 2016. Just as President Roosevelt survived a publicly-known assassination attempt and two unannounced assassination attempts during his 12-year in office, there will be attempts on the life of President Obama in the next four years and if he survives, America will never, never be the same forever. The dialectics of history are the motors of human progress, for as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, human beings do not make history but are made by history. Obama is not just making history; it is the history of America that is making Obama.

Dr Fayemiwo is author, publisher and CEO, Alternative Lifestyle Communication, DBA is an adjunct lecturer in African History & Media Studies at the City Colleges of Chicago in Illinois, USA.

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