Saturday, November 1, 2008

#103 Barack Obama In the Land of Oz

Whereas McCain's political landscape has shrunk away almost to the Nothingness of the Wicked Witch in Frank L. Baum's story--somebody should have been throwing cold water on the hyper-thermic Republican at every opportunity--Obama's campaign (partisan alert) has seemed only to get BIGGER in the home stretch. Well, he simply has bigger and better ideas. As opposed to really none at all. Because of that, primarily, his team has been able to avoid the petty and petulant (and lately feculent) insignifica that the McCain gang must needs fling at their rivals.

I was cued into the Lewis Carroll story (last post) by way of the persistent drumbeat of the ridiculous but insinuation-freighted "Who is the REAL Barack Obama" over and over. It reminded me immediately of the Caterpillar and the poor shrunkedity-down Alice trying repeatedly to explain herself, in vain. Wait a minute, I thought, McCain is trying to lead us all Down the Rabbit Hole (the book's original title) into a world of cramped and crabbed nonsense, filled with Mad Hatters and Red-Queen divas. And Alice's adventures essentially end underground, out of the light of day, until she wakes up confused and unenlightened, but amused. Whatever fun we can glean from the nightmarish McCain campaign, let it rest in peace, under the ground forever.

On the other hand, The Wizard of Oz (think movie version here) is a "horse of a different color," as the wizard himself points out. Recall how wonderfully BIG this story is--the landscapes broadening out scene by scene from windswept Kansas through the stratosphere to endless forests and poppy-fields leading to the Emerald City and ultimately back home to wide-awake reality. Yes, the Obama/Democratic campaign has manifested that arc of expansiveness, figuratively, growing bigger and bigger as McCain's steadily shrunk (for the latter's last NC rally, I hear, 2000 school kids had to bussed-in, just to speak of numbers). Why?--because we're concerned here with the larger, POSITIVE humanitarian issues of peace, economic well-being, non-discrimination (pro-choice, gay rights, etc.), and so on. Compare that to the smallness of negative issues desperately being raised by McCain and company ... just to win.

To belabor the comparison, Obama is the Wizard here, exemplifying those virtues given out as medallions at the end of the story to Dorothy and her companions: intelligence, love, and courage--which they were possessed of, anyway ... as are we all. The McCain cabal has been pandering to the tiny-minded and mean-spirited among us. Obama and friends are appealing to the better angels of our nature. And that should bring us safely home to Auntie Em.

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