Barack Obama is undoubtably the pivotal player in much of today’s political life.
Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor of the Australian, suggests that there has been an evolution in Obama’s posturing, in his piece entitled A different Obama now speaks.
Sheridan opines that Obama’s recent Afganistan and Nobel Prize speeches reflect a move towards the political centre, and away from a postmodern stance that was highlighted by his earlier Cairo speech. Sheridan concludes with a statement about the Nobel Prize acceptance speech:
“I must say I had to pinch myself a few times to make sure I was really reading Obama, though the almost equally muscular Afghanistan speech should have prepared me. The fact that this speech followed the Afghanistan speech suggests it’s not an aberration. This is the emerging Obama. Perhaps no paragraph was more startling than the one in which Obama praises Richard Nixon (for going to China), Ronald Reagan (for his dealings with the Soviet Union) and Pope John Paul II (for his inspiration to the Poles) as heroes of human rights. This is admittedly in the context of their engaging their enemies, but such engagement is always part of a realistic appreciation of the world which also champions human rights. The utterly fatuous Sydney Peace Prize, or indeed the almost equally suspect Nobel Peace Prize, I’m sure never had Nixon, Reagan or the late Pope on their shortlists. But Obama apparently does.
One thing effective machine politicians very much like is getting re-elected. Obama understands that the US is governed from the Centre and presidents are re-elected from the Centre. Obama’s ability to do all the postmodern moves, to deploy all the language and symbols of the debased intellectual fashions of our time, is formidable. But much more formidable is his ability not to be trapped in this bubble of incoherence. He has escaped postmodernism and retreated into history, which never really came to an end.”
If Israel is the canary in the coalmine, Nir’eh – “Let’s see”