American presidents, born between 1946 and 1964, from 1993 to the present, represent the trident of Poseidon. On the left stands Obama, in the middle Clinton and on the right Bush.
President Clinton, the ever political pragmatist and master tactician, reoriented the post-Cold War America toward a world order that placed the United States at the center of the hub of the global economic wheel, paid for by trade deficits. That wheel was imagined as an economic straight line. It was not meant to cycle. What went up was not meant to come down, until it all came down. The period from 1993-2000 was sound judgment in the short run. The long run was someone else’s job, democrat or republican.
It had come crashing down on President George Walker Bush, only to be held up by Clintonomics, to stanch the bleeding with a bandaid, before sutures are needed for it to heal. The festering economic wounds, gashed by the conviction of war and a vision of global security rooted in universal freedom required a healer by 2008.
The much anticipated advent of Barack Hussein Obama, as the embalmer of the world, precipitated in the brutal pragmatism of politics as usual, the healing taking its due course in the long run, with the wink and the nudge of changing America, one small step at a time, with no giant leaps for mankind. His presidency has come and may go, one term or two terms, giving him his two sentences in the history books, more words about him than most others, with the nudges negating themselves by their consequences in the long run.
The United States of America, the boomers seem to be saying, need not be more perfect. It is perfect the way it is. As they had inherited from the labors of their fathers and mothers for it to be protected economically and secured physically by their generation.
The can of the anachronism of the American imminent and the immanent had been kicked down the road. Stasis is the recipe, however, for the contagion of death.
Is the “change we believe in”, no change?