Obama and Cameron
And no, Cranmer has not lost his marbles, for he knows Senator McCain to be a true Conservative, and it is undoubtedly his occupation of the White House which will solve more of the world's ills than Senator Obama even knows about. It is not simply the experience of years; it is that Senator McCain has conviction and is authentic – politically, intellectually, spiritually and personally. Senator Obama, on the other hand, is a creation of the media; a carefully-crafted and finely-honed product who heeds the polls, takes the pulse, measures the temperature and then blows with the prevailing wind. He is more of a mood than a set of beliefs, and one encounters him emotionally and intuitively more than rationally.
But thus is the nature of postmodernity: it evidences a willingness to combine symbols from disparate codes or frameworks of meaning, even at the cost of disjunctions and eclecticism. It is the triumph of symbolism over substance.
It is most likely that a President Obama would look more to Paris, Berlin or Brussels than London, if only because President Sarkozy, Chancellor Merkel and President Barroso eclipse the utterly insignificant and ineffectual Prime Minister Brown. President Obama would doubtless continue the Democratic fixation with the EU’s ever closer union, implement protectionist domestic policies, borrow and spend, divide America, and expand the tentacles of government. But what else would one expect of a Socialist?
Yet Senator Obama is as much New Democrat as Tony Blair was New Labour. He is as relaxed with people as Mr Blair and Mr Cameron are, and he reaches out with the confidence of familiarity. He looks good, sounds good, and, in an age where image is everything, this makes him good. He may not be a prophet riding on a donkey, but he increasingly embodies the hopes of a nation and is captivating the world. Like Martin Luther King Jnr, he speaks of dreams and freedom, of hope and optimism, of a time when there will be no black and white. Take this, for example:
“The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down.”
He might as well be quoting from Isaiah. It is not quite a promise that the lion shall lie down with the lamb, but his narrative is messianic – he is the chosen one - and from the four corners of the world they come to kiss this shrine.
But how disappointed they all shall be when they realise that he is not the Messiah.