Chicago IL Sunday AM January 18, 2009
Editors, Wall Street Journal
Your Monday, January 15 article "The Obama Generation: How Youth Trumped Race", adapted from the recent Gwen Ifill book, is an interesting and well-written account of how a small group of people who felt it was time for a black president were able, with hard work and original thinking, to make it happen.
There is a question of why they did it without a net. From a black subculture brimming with super-successful men and women, they instead chose someone who has never met a private sector payroll, a Columbia U graduate without an 'emphasis' on economics.
In a time when international relations are so much at the front, their choice's international experience was limited to four crucial pre-teen years slogging thru the mud of Indonesia (but yes, 'emphasis' on international relations at Columbia.)
His government experience consisted of 8 years as an Illinois state senator, a job requiring no more skills than a Chicago Bears third string jock strap attendant (but without the responsibility.)
He was a non-tenure-tracked instructor of Constitutional Law at a major University, but rarely discusses the document, and even then rarely without pointing out supposed defects, ignoring its genius.
And oh! Did I mention he has no military experience?
Now this candidate will replace a man, hated as he was by vast waves of the public, who preceded his two presidential terms as an elected, and reelected (by 2 to 1 vote margin) governor of the nation's second largest state. Before that he was managing partner of a sports franchise for five years where franchises regularly have $75 million annual payrolls, and approach $1 billion sales prices; and before that was a combat-ready trained Air Force National Guard jet pilot.
Because of the 22nd Amendment to the US Constitution the group did not need to concern themselves with this disconnect, and were additionally blessed by the unparalleled oratorical skills of their choice, and in these days of electronic communication, an unusual rapport with the teleprompter. These skills played right into the 50-year deterioration of the US Public Education system that, coupled with an explosion of instant-gratification-entertainment availability, created two generations of populace knowing virtually nothing about what made the country rise in 219 years from a lonely outpost of civilization to the ground zero of the greatest civilization in the history of civilization. They didn't know what they didn't know, and could have cared less, as long as they were continuously entertained and made to feel good.
But the final justification of the group's hopes was in fact what they had feared most: Instead of his color being a hindrance, it turned out to be a plus, when you consider that a non-black person with the same meager proven leadership skills coupled with the identical communication talent would have needed to buy their own bus ticket to get to Iowa, and would have been met by no one.
So now soon after noon on Tuesday our new president will make the first buck-stops-here decision of his entire life. Then our only question will be how long it takes for our society to descend to total economic chaos before our inspirational new leader is forced to declare: "Our country is too big to fail, so to prevent its failure, I have just signed an executive order making all US residents, legal and illegal alike, direct employees of the federal government. May the force be with us!"
And everyone will go along quietly, happily, because it feels good.
Arnold H Nelson Chicago IL 60640