Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Politics of Hope & Change: Jamaica Needs an Obama 08' Moment

by Mario Raphael Boothe

The World and the minds of its inhabitants were both at Peace and in Shambles after the elected President of The United States; Barack Hussein Obama, spoke his last words in his inauguration speech to the 2 million strong crowd that sun-filled Tuesday, January 20, 2009. 

This was no ordinary inauguration of the most powerful man on earth; the first time in almost 4 centuries the moment shared by 44 other American men would be seen, heard and felt worldwide as a moment of "Ancestral Justice", "History's Greatest Moment" and "The Second Coming" all rolled in one tall, Dark and 'd' for democrat body.

The Obama 08' campaign ran on "Hope and Change", (2 words discarded among Jamaicans) ensuring that the message invoked nothing less than the pure rage against the former President's Party (2 unpaid for Wars, Wall st. collapse, Housing bubble burst...yea..rage) and absolute euphoria over the then candidate Obama. The true test of his slogan and inspirational words that swept a nation of its feet would be on Nov. 2 election night, after the votes were counted Obama had received 69,456,897 in the popular vote: the highest for an American Presidential Candidate.

The main narrative the political heads in the USA were spinning  for Obama's tremendous win was his slogan: "Hope and Change". At a time when the American economy and way of life never looked worst - Pres. Obama was able to pull the hearts from the wreck and the heads from the gutters; uniting and linking the fading light of "Hope" with the need for drastic "Change" creating this unforgettable universal enthusiasm that literally moved the world as musicians, singers, dancers, etc using their creative genius went head first into Obama-phoria, he was simply Loved and Admired for his courage.

His legacy will be debated and people will say we exaggerated and place inhuman task on his shoulders but there is shame "Hoping".

Jamaicans tried tumultuously, to force this 'once in a blue politician' moment on themselves falling BELL over HEAD for the young buck from West Central St. Andrew, Former PM Andrew 'Twice Bitten' Holness who was 'placed' in power by his (much,much,more) senior colleagues in the Jamaica Labour Party after the extradition failings of Bruce 'Papa' Golding. The youth-phoria that followed his seize of power would return to haunt him during the 2011 elections, where his lack of experience came into play and the attention focus x squared on him and his 'youthfulness' completely (wi did tiad, fi si him face), coupled with over-saturating negative ad airplay - his hopes were dashed (then again in local Gov. elections)

but aside from Holness's lackluster performance as a pseudo Obama,  the Dec. 2011 elections was a great one for post-Independence politicians as the "youth-phoria" generated votes for young members on both sides of the Orange/Green divide. The problem issue arising from the election were the 'elitist heirs' forged by the loins of the same "Jurassic" politicians who occupy the House, one must wonder (with disdain) if the family scrolls and wisdom are being passed on -recreating the cycle.  But If this trend of younger and younger minds being allowed to represent and legislate continues without resistant from the monarchical masterminds.

One day in the distant future and not by forced will, Jamaica will have its Hope and Change Moment.

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