Obama: A New Historical Cycle Awaits

Edited by Louis Standish

As Time pointed out on October 27th, in reference to the North American presidential election: “This is the first election in generations, possible the very first, in which almost nine out of ten U.S. citizens think that the country is going in the wrong direction.”

As we pointed out in a past article, Iraq, the clumsy handling of Katrina, the excessive public spending and the acquiring of massive debt, put a tremendous weight on the shoulders of the Republican candidate. The public debt in September of 2008 was 9.7 trillion dollars, in good measure the product of an annual increase of 500 billion dollars since 2003. Nevertheless, nothing of what has been mentioned here would be enough to cut off the electoral options of McCain, which until not too long ago were still respectable. The earthquake on Wall Street was necessary, along with its projection onto the entire economy of the country, in order to shake up the foundation of the country’s thinking.

The evidential failure of the economic model which unites the fate of the Republicans is having devastating consequences for them. The monumental economic collapse generated by the economic ideology of Von Hayek, Friedman, Stigler, Becker, and Lucas would seem to be initiated by a decline in the North American conservative movement, similar to the liberal movement towards the end of the seventies. At forty years of this phenomenon, the pendulum of history could be starting to turn around. The triumph of Barack Obama in some traditionally Republican states seems to point in this direction.

Moreover, along with Obama’s electoral success, there still remain various elements which could consolidate the effective reversal of this pendulum. Among these are the force and creativity of his leadership, his capacity to communicate an effective change in the actual direction of the country and the duration and intensity of the economic crisis.

The combination of what has been mentioned will determine if Obama is capable of putting into movement a new historical cycle in politics, such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt did in 1933, in light of the last grand economic crisis which preceded the current one. He put an end to a Republican hegemony that had been initiated by McKinley in 1897. The Democratic cycle initiated by Roosevelt continued until 1968 and was taken over by another Republican, starting with Nixon and then consolidated by Reagan.

Since the three previous cycles, there has been the presence of governments with a contrary section in the interior of each cycle. The Democrat Wilson during the mentioned first Republican age, the Republican Eisenhower during the Democrat’s, and Carter and Clinton during the second Republican cycle. However, what characterized each one of these cycles were a matrix of strong thinking and a major reinforcement of the structure the party which occupied the power the majority of the time.

If anyone would seem capable of initiating a new cycle, it is most definitely Obama. Let’s hope that it is.

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