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poetry, politics, and popular expression
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Obama, JFK, and the rest


In the aftermath of the 60's, in the aftermath of Camelot, so many politicians attempted to wrap themselves in the mantle of JFK to tap into the hunger that the public displayed for the resurrection of our fallen Prince.  And no, not the purple guy from Minneapolis, but the real Prince, the one who we yearned to rescue us from an immoral war, Tricky Dick, and an inept Peanut Farmer turned President.  

This parade of imitators though proved unable to evoke the core of the Kennedy myth, unable to summon the idealism, passion, and grace that defined the fleeting first few years of the 60's.  Gary Hart, Joe Biden in the 80's, John Francis Kerry (JFK!!!), and even Bill Clinton to some extent all attempted to lay a surface claim to the throne.  

Ironically, the politician most like JFK on the national scene appears to be Obama, a man who has resolutely charted his own course, a man of mixed ethnic heritage raised by a single mother in conditions far away from the wealth and privilege of the Kennedy's.  For all the surface differences though only Obama in the aftermath of JFK has demonstrated the real power and magnetism to call us forth to our highest ideals and dare us to dream again.  Only Obama has dared us to see that poetry can be politics and politics poetry. 

I know--no pop culture connections on this little writing but oh well.  It's a blog after all; these things are supposed to be loose (at least I ordain it so).  Toodles. 




Posted by varbelenglish at 2:29 AM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 6 January 2009 2:48 AM EST

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