No hope

Dear Auntie, All my left-wing friends seem to be overjoyed about Obama winning the US election, holding real hope that he will bring change, that he'll stop the wars, and that he'll somehow make America all cuddly and nice. But haven't we been here before? I'm getting flashbacks to the expectations people had of politicians like Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and how quickly they betrayed us. Is it terrible that I think Obama will be just more of the same? Hopeless, London

December 5, 2008 · 2 min read

Dear Hopeless,

Auntie admits getting quite swept away by the tide of hope on election night but it was more a case of anyone but Bush (or McCain and Palin) and I’ll open the champagne. She quickly sobered up, though, after few hours broken sleep and nightmares in which Barack Obama was bopping with Margaret Thatcher, dressed as St Francis of Assisi, to the sound of ‘Things can only get better’.

And she too remembers we’ve been here before and 11 years on nowt much has got better and much has got worse. In Auntie’s experience, politicians that promise to save the world usually disappoint.

Suddenly, it seems healthy cynicism is out of fashion. But the devil’s always worn Prada and so do the most Machiavellian and seductive of the spin doctors. The Obama publicity machine has more oil on it than the Exxon Valdez and is in much better nick than the toxic tanker. But the result could be just as devastating – if nothing else, in crushing all this new found hope and optimism.

Auntie won’t state the bleeding obvious and say Obama is no socialist but … well, he isn’t. The more desperate you are for a cure the more the snake oil sounds like a good bet but on the more positive side, it’s up to us to make sure Obama’s fine words translate into fine actions.

Email your questions to: Subcomandauntie@gmail.com


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