Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

Why is Obama disappointing?

Why does Obama make people feel good but at the same time disappoint? I have a possible explanation.

Obama’s rhetoric (like that of Kennedy’s inaugural speech) seems to me to consist of liberal team-spirit boilerplate. But we do not need this. Read the polls and you can see that Americans already have team spirit; indeed, Social Security is the third rail of American politics—touch it and you ‘die’. Even if you are George W. Bush, who otherwise gets practically everything he wants.

Americans’ main problem is that they are afraid. The ‘Republican’ Party, dominated by Southern racism, has been ruling them by fear and they are terrified. It’s not just fear of terrorists and ‘Islamofascists’, but also, and fundamentally, fear of government, fear of pooled risk, fear of joining our strengths, fear of achievement, fear of ‘liberal’, and on and on and on.

Americans need Roosevelt’s speech, not Kennedy’s. Roosevelt gets right to the point: Do not be afraid. You ask, how to do that? Do it by being afraid of paralyzing fear, so that you are always on guard for it. Then, when you are free of paralyzing fear, we all can work together to solve our problems. Roosevelt was performing psychotherapy for a traumatized people. Obama is not doing this.

We should not confuse our goals with our methods. People reaching out to each other is not a method, but a goal; people will reach out to each other if they are not afraid to do so. It is natural for human beings to reach out and cooperate with each other, if they are not impeded by false doctrines, paralyzing fears, and other hindrances. A lot of people wonder how humans can kill each other so much; I wonder why they don’t kill each other more. How come we aren’t constantly jumping each other with knives and guns? We have an instinct for working together; this is why people who want us to kill each other spread false doctrines, by generating terror, by in fact inducing symptoms of psychiatric disorder. Our method must be to treat the disorder so that the natural urge to work together and to depend on each other can take hold.

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