Here follows one of my (slightly rare) off-topic posts, this one is political to boot.

I listened to Obama’s acceptance speech and was caught up in the moment, I see his election as era-defining and a stark demonstration of how far we’ve come in the past hundred or so years. Despite this I can help but feel a little nervous about the entire situation.

Obama is amazing, after eight years of laughing at an oaf (and to be honest the intellect of a nation that, at an aggregate level, elected him to office) it’s revolutionary to hear someone who is an intellectual, an orator and, yes, statesmanlike. To a certain extent therein lies the problem – I was a little frightened to see hundred of Obama supporters, fists in the air, chanting “Yes we can”. Transpose the scene 60 years, change the colour of the speakers skin, and move to another continent and you’ve got another nation following another man who promised to lead them out of the economic train-wreck they had come from.

We all know the results of that foray.

Now not for a minute am I attempting to draw parallels between Obama and Hitler as men – Hitler was a monster, Obama a visionary. But Obama is being set up for a fall – looking at those fists raised in the air it’s hard to imagine how any human being could possible deliver on the expectations of the nation.

Obama has reached almost God-like status, it was interesting to read this BBC editorial where comic Writer John O’Farrell told of the difficulties writers have trying to satirise Obama – some of this is due of course to the traditional “honeymoon period” – let him make some gaffs and it’ll get easier. But some of it is linked to Obama-mania. Writers feel that criticizing or even satirizing Obama would be as risque as was Monty Python’s Life of Brian – Jesus Christ and Obama, two men you don’t make jokes about.

So let’s peg things back a little. Obama is great, his election is pretty amazing when seen within a historical context. He has some great ideas and policies that will help the US and by extension the world.

But a Messiah he isn’t, he’s too early for Sainthood and please don’t name your children after him.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

  • ** It didn’t work for Rep. Brown either **

    • making an analogy you can’t defend

    If you don’t mean to compare Obama to Hitler, then don’t. By writing a comparison and then claiming you didn’t mean it, you’ve also tried to absolve yourself from making it. That was Rep. Brown’s little trick too. It won’t wash.

    In Brown’s case the rhetorical tactic was deliberate; in your case I’ll cast my vote for your being unimaginative and uninformed.

    A few people raise their fists and yell “yes we can!” and that makes them ultra-right? Nonsense. I guess that you can’t think of a figure on the political left who would suit.

    • Ignorance of ‘national socialism’ is no excuse

    You don’t even know the type of political philosophy embraced by the Fascist followers of Mussolini in Italy and later by the followers of Hitler in Germany during the 20’s and 30’s of the last century . . . national socialism. (The word ‘Nazi’ derives from the full name of the party in German.)

    Fascists are politically far-right. They demand that state power be concentrated in the executive, they support traditional religion and traditional breeding practices (pro-natalism), they support close cooperation between the state and international corporations, they support repression of dissent, they are fervent anti-communists and anti-socialists, they demand the right of preemptive war.

    Thus, George W. Bush is a fascist. Dick Cheney is a fascist. Sarah Palin is a fascist. All xian dominionists are fascists. The Pope and the RC hierarchy are fascists. The hierarchy of the LDS is fascist.

    Now, it would have been more “politic” to call these people “ultra-right wing,” it certainly would be more polite, but ‘fascist’ is a descriptive and emotive term sufficiently vile for my purpose.


  • For a moment there I thought you were almost invoking Goodwin’s Law…

  • Arghhh. Make it Godwin’s Law.

  • @bipolar2 – thanks for your comment but it seems you got the wrong end of the stick. I was invoking Godwin’s law, comparing Obama to Hitler. Neither was I saying the those with their fists in the air were ultra right wing – I see nothing in my post that would draw the reasonable reader to that conclusion.

    What I was saying was that the reaction of the masses is not dissimilar to the reaction upon Hitler’s rise – the charisma sweeping everyone away in the euphoria of “yes we can”

    Given that you don’t know me I’m not sure how you can claim that I have no knowledge of one thing or another – I actually do have a reasonably good perspective of what happened in Germany and elsewhere in Europe in the 30s. Notwithstanding any of that it has nothing to do with my central thesis which was that people shouldn’t elevate Obama beyond that which is appropriate.

  • Actually, I believe Hitler was labelled a visionary too.

  • @Darryl – I’m not even going to go there…


  • Obama will leave Israel vulnerable, since he will cosy up to Iran, Cuba, Venezuela, which he clearly stated those goals during his campaign.

  • Too late! I heard there were twins born last week named Obama and Michelle.

  • @Matt – I don’t know whether to laugh or cry 😉

  • I see this as good reason to stay out of political posts. Mostly.

  • Too late indeed! Rather a lot of children across the world, particularly in the US and Kenya, have been named “Barack” since he won, according to one report I read.

    Agree about danger of straying into political posts, but almost without fail, all my favorite tech/biz bloggers have said something about the US election, so you’re far from alone in yielding to temptation.

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