Liberals, even some calling themselves ’revolutionaries,’ have a chronically false ideal of Amerika. Instead of seeing historical injustices carried out by Amerika as part of its overall development, liberals see such things as disconnected aberrations which can be resolved through in a piecemeal fashion through progressive determination. They see Amerika, though flawed, as an unfinished experiment in freedom and democracy.
Revolutionaries see Amerika as a product of unending injustices carried out upon oppressed peoples. Revolutionaries see Amerika and all the decadent elements which constitute it as something that needs to be destroyed as part of the global struggle to build a better world. While revolutionaries hate Amerika, liberals love Amerika: they are always trying to save it, to reform it, to make it realize its so-called historic potential.
To this end, an Obama presidency marks a major step. White liberals are projecting their own hopes and aspirations regarding Amerika onto Obama. Having a Black man lead a nation founded on the slavery of Blacks is for many a confirmation that Amerika is still the land of hope. An Obama presidency represents evidence that even into the 21st century, Amerika is still becoming a better, more perfect democracy. Because of this, the historical narratives spun around Obama are endless. For much of Amerika, Obama is a near-messianic figure.
Within the liberal paradigm, by electing Obama, Amerika can go from a country shamed by the Bush administration to one reformed, made better. An Obama presidency proves that Amerikan democracy works. Amerika can arrive as a more pluralistic open society whose legitimacy as the leader of the world is reaffirmed. An Obama presidency represents the continuation of Amerikan supremacy without Bush’s overtly hee-haw element. Obama represents a form of imperialism which liberal Amerikans can be proud of.
But liberal love-amerika types are not the only force driving the Obama campaign. Within the imperialist camp, many view the overly belligerent Bush administration as a disaster. Over the last 8 years, Amerika’s actions have rightly inspired hate and resistance the world over.
Loosing the iron fist and taking up the velvet glove is understood by many to be a more effective approach to imperialism. Within much of the imperialist camp, a popular Obama presidency is seen as more conducive to their own long term interests. Obama is seen as a figure who can recover what power Amerika has lost over the last 8 years.
Obama, and the forces behind him, are not revolutionaries. They are not trying to end Amerikan imperialism. Rather, for those who benefit from imperialist exploitation, Obama is seen as savior, a messiah who can bring the return to Amerika’s power and so-called greatness. These are the social forces that will, in all likelihood, drive Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States.