|Roxy Paine: Three Sculptures in Madison Square Park. 5:45 PM. Photo: JH.|
|So Obama’s won Wisconsin and Hillary may be on her way out. And what does that have to do with you? With NYSD? With whatever. I tend to think: everything.
What got me started was our NYSD political correspondent Ned Brown’s  assessment  of the Wisconsin primary and Hillary Clinton’s future. I am, like everyone else, partisan. I also believe that my opinion is merely my opinion and while I may not agree with my neighbor I can concede my neighbor may be right. And all politics is fascinating because it involves all of us, no matter the people who think they’re apolitical.
The times we’re in. If you read what I read in terms of the financial pages and commentary – and I read a lot more than the average person because it is of personal interest to me -- you know things are not going well in the American economy. Indeed, even in the world economy. Thanks to the profound problems in the banking system I know many think that’s balderdash. Very well; I don’t. This is an example of what's being reported: America’s economy risks mother of all meltdowns,  by Martin Wolf.
Some ask me what my interest as a social reporter is in politics and economics. To me they are natural interests for all is anthropology if you don’t mind a little bit of a boisterous breeze in my thinking.
The so-called Credit Crisis in America today is getting worse. It has not been contained and there is fear everywhere that the genie’s out of the bottle. For the past half year since the sub-prime drama came onstage last August, the figures have grown dramatically worse and the matter has somehow cloned into other matters in crisis. Much of this is very very difficult to understand. Like learning Alegebra, if you don’t have a natural aptitude for it, it can take time to grasp the simplicity of what appears very complicated. CDO’s anyone? Or CDS? Or TAF or Alt-A’s or even the GNMA? You know you’re a better man for learning algebra.
|All while this very long Presidential nomination campaign has been going on, it seems obvious that most of us are not really looking “out there.” In the land of sub-prime walking away Credit Default Swaps; where billions have begun to sound like nothing and trillions is used more frequently but is even less comprehensible, the American people are going to look for strength and power in its next Presidential leadership. This is not stupid.
If the candidates are Obama and John McCain. I read somewhere that between now and 2010 some analysts are predicting that between 10 and 15 million families will lose their homes (and/or walk away). That may not sound like a lot of some people, but .... Even if it were half that (and we’re moving quickly in that direction), it would be very bad for the morale of the American people. And very bad for the purse, the most crucial of issues in all our lives.
So, if the candidates are Obama and McCain: Let's say there’s more than a kernal of realism to my concerns about the near-term economic future in this country. Let’s say the reports and analyses I read are on the money (about the lack of money). Let’s say people do lose their homes; decent hard working people who took the Big Risk, just like Wall Street took (and sold) the Big Risk. Let’s say the American people, the American heartline is on tough times. As a leader, who would you need?
So let’s say we need a strong, decisive, resolute, American-decent-minded leader. On one side we have Obama, a nice, clear-thinking, thoughtful, inspirational younger half-black man from Chicago, man who is a vision, a personification of the American Dream. That’s what we all love about it. All of us. Obama defines it.
|On the other side we have this very familiar, very distinguished white American Mr. McCain. A real War HERO, Real. A Prisoner of War survivor against the ravages of the enemy. And all these years later, an outspoken, his-own-man Senator, a man who’s been able to navigate the treacherous currents of public life, kept his nose clean, and with a high and favorable public profile. You know how many Americans wouldn’t mind having him for a father? An uncle, an older brother? Even a brother-in-law?
Under the proposed circumstances, who would you want in charge of the store? The nice young, kinda skinny, energetic, elegant, intellectually enriched new kid on the block, the Kenyan American man who can offer a New America? Nice but maybe naive; smart, but maybe still a little green.
Or the guy who's been there and done that, a strong, tough, non-nonsense, military guy? What if getting us in shape is the issue. What does that mean?
Now put HIllary Clinton in the same place as Mr. Obama, and you get .... Tough, survivor, smarter, clever, no-nonsense .... Loathed by some, reviled almost irrationally by others, and admired by others; a can-do, will-do-no-matter-what woman. Could she stand toe-to-toe like Mr. McCain? I’d guess yes. And would she? I bet she would. Would she succeed? I don’t know; would any man or woman succeed? Isn’t that a life question?
This may sound partisan but it’s really put here to take measure of the world we are living in, the world covered by the New York Social Diary; the American Way of Life.
Isn't it almost always about our own perception?