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Ahhh, The Real Significance of Obama

Here’s Judith Warner on Obama’s election:

On Wednesday, there was a run on newspapers, as voters rushed to grab a tangible piece of the history they’d made. My husband Max and I, unable to find extra copies, brought our own worn papers home to 8- and 11-year-old Emilie and Julia.

Sept. 11, the seismic event that we’d feared would forever form their political consciousness, shaping their world and constricting the boundaries of the possible, had actually been eclipsed, light blotting out darkness, the best of America at long last driving away the demons of fear. We wanted them to see that it was the end of an era.

Obama’s election may mark the end of a lot of things, but Islamic terrorism isn’t one of them. However, in Warner’s World, there’s no need for such distinctions. Being attacked and threatened by murderous fascists isn’t so bad (it’s just a “seismic event,” without positive or negative connotation). Getting bummed out about it is. So what you need isn’t a president who will prevent attacks (especially because what’s required in doing that involves more “darkness” and “demons of fear”), but one who will make you feel good about other things. Only in this conception of political reality can Obama’s blackness deliver the country from the threat of jihad. And if we’re attacked again? Presumably, Judith Warner will reach for that yellowing newspaper to set things right.

By the way, her kid’s response is brilliant, historically redemptive, dazzlingly ironic — and completely ignored by Warner herself:

“You’re being racist,” Emilie had said when I made a comment about how particularly earth-moving this election was for black voters. “Why should it matter if people are black or white?”

Can you imagine the home-taught history lesson in store for poor Emilie?



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