For a president whose opponents practically consider him the antichrist, there’s an awful lot that Barack Obama’s supporters have always been expected to take on faith.
Healthcare reform will work, even if it’s based on guaranteed business for private insurers who have raised their rates exponentially for the four years they were given until the law takes full effect. The economy was saved, because it didn’t crash again, even if exactly no consequences for those who crashed it before, or disincentives to the behavior that might repeat the process, have been imposed. And, of course, America doesn’t illegally imprison, mistreat or assassinate anyone, and if we do, it was legal after all.
Obama’s good intentions are presumed, at this point mostly because they are so often proclaimed. By him. We are assured of his careful deliberation, but the result is still decisions, central to our wellbeing and future, that have been made for us.
Obama is in office because of millions of people who marched from door to door for an ideal. But an ideal is perverted by being too literally accepted as something that will remain eternally out of reach. The Obama armies, many of them new to the political process, had a new perspective which is being ignored. Obama runs against his own base as soon as his elections are secured, and now the full force of a government suddenly, eerily unified in declaring Edward Snowden a “traitor” will be directed at one young person who exercised individual integrity rather than falling in line to serve Obama’s political fortunes.
The keeper of the dream Obama represented to so many has to be those many, not one compromised and self-serving leader. The next campaign must be for the legions that placed belief in Obama to put in place something that’s lasting and true. To picket the offices of the real betrayers of our country’s definition, from Boehner to Feinstein; to divert those Organizing for America donations to funding independent electoral runs of our own against these relics themselves; to petition for a Nobel Peace Prize for the kind of risk-takers who deserve it (Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden) — to resoundingly found a society, not just form into momentary masses.
It means turning away from one person’s vision to all people’s dream. But that’s an innocence it can only benefit us to lose.