It’s gone, gone, gone
It’s time for things to get better
It’s time for things to move on.
~Ou Est Le Swimming Pool~
With the kick-off and onset for the 2012 US elections, one can only help but reminisce on the 2008 elections, where McCain and Obama came head-to-head in a domestic political war: Republicans versus Democrats. Though the last 2 years of term of office, it is evident that he has made an impact on the political field of United States and Globalisation, but how much of a change has he really made?
Considering the aftermath of eight years’ worth of “Bushism,” the pressure for Obama to make immediate change skyrocketed, and expectations were elevated. The Promise for Change which Obama had repetitively emphasized throughout his campaign in 2008 had the country hoping for more – and in offering hope for the nation, people are likely to feel included rather than overlooked.
Part of the reason the Democrats were in the lead two years prior is that Bush’s administration failed to comply to society’s demands for justice and progression. Though Republicanism itself is built on traditional and concrete (unwavering) values, George Bush and his administration turned out to be a disappointing testimony as the face of Republicans. The fact that the stronger players in the game – the main power players – had reached this higher level of success, many of the team felt that the existing system was already the best available option. However, in eight years of Bush’s office, society noticed that little was being done to accommodate their needs: Change was needed.
Obama’s role as a “change maker” appealed to a society desperate for a president who cared, a president who believed in change, a president who himself disputed the existing system. Had Obama stepped up any earlier than he had, society might not have been as anguished and forlorn, but taking into account the failures and disarrays the Bush Administration had left, Obama offered hope to a broken society.
Now that his term is at its mean, enough has materialised for one to speculate. Change, as Obama promised, has most definitely been made, but on what scale? Many would argue that he has not done all he has promised, however, bear in mind that Obama bears a stepping-stone mindset: to change the big, one must first change the small. By this, one might argue that not enough has been done reagarding taxes, the war in the Middle East, foreign policy etc. Though these issues have not been as heavily regarded today as it was with Bush’s Administration, Obama’s focus was on individual care: the Reformed Health Care Plan, refining the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bill and the religious disputes between Islamics and Islamism.
All things considered, the social demands for Obama to “change the country” are derived from their expectation for him to “clean up Bush’s mess” at the click of a finger. With expectations set absurdly high, it is inevitable for society to be disillusioned and disappointed. And this disappointment comes demand for change, yet again.
Democracy focuses on change based on society’s demands, yet the irony is that society can only handle change when it is convenient – take the best, leave the rest. Republicans, on the other hand, do not account for variable change because (as stated above) pressure for change, in a republican government, come from below or even outside the circle of rule. Republicanism is built on fundamentally traditional values, thus it is pragmatic and realistic, but hypocritical and inconsiderate.
Democracy may appeal to society, because on paper the ideas and incentives revolve around its People. The People make the change, the People determine the system. At the end of the day, it’s an idealistic and utopian system of government, popular by demand and appeal, but impossible to satisfy (especially in highly populated regions like the US). Perhaps democracy isn’t all that it was set out to be, but on a smaller scale (small countries) it might turn out more efficient and effective, simply because fewer people means fewer demands; fewer demands means fewer changes; fewer changes means fewer adjustments; fewer adjustments means fewer complaints.
Thus, the upcoming US elections are likely to be taken over by Republicans, simply because of it’s “unwavering values.” These values are “convenient” and ancient, but have existed long enough for society to incorporate the institutions into everyday life: the institutions of the Republicans are legitimised by social compliance, and though society will realise sooner or later that the amount of control and influence each individual once had is slowly slipping away, stability will improve simply because the foundations are firmer and stronger.
Until then, this hypothesis will remain a conjecture until proven (or disproven) in the next few years.