On another occasion, you might feel sorry for all of the country’s politicians having to live up to the image of Obama. After all, how many of them are stick lean, fit, handsome and boasting a complete of teeth? How many of them can deliver a speech without the proliferation of ah and ohs and like, ya know what I mean. But they should relax. How often is it that someone who looks like him comes along.
So far, all we have seen of President Obama is that he is a consummate performer who delivers well the speeches written for him by clever speechwriters. So far he has been judged on his ability to deliver expertly these uninterrupted auto-cued monologues of generalities. What we have to find out now is whether there is more to him than that. And on that hope lies the last credibility of politics in the world.
This week, he gets down to the business of proving if he can really hack it as a legislator and as a leader and we are all hoping he can.
But before all politicians start heading to the gym and cutting down on the rubber chicken circuit, there are lessons that they can learn from the manner in which he approaches problems. What he is aiming to do is to eliminate the polarising aspects of politics, and through a common interest, work on solving the problems that are dogging us all at the moment.
Maybe it is simplistic but wouldn’t it be ideal if for a few years, we abandoned the charades of petty politics based on the Ireland of a century ago, and worked together to get this country back on track. Obama is going to borrow to the hilt to put in place a programme of works that will see his country’s crumbling infrastructure restored to its former glory. At a time when the construction industry in this country is grinding to a halt, would it be unwise for us to avail of cheaper work rates and cheaper builder quotes to continue to develop this country’s infrastructure?
In these chastened times, people are far more appreciative of work than before and a greater application to the task in hand could see this country continue to develop even in “the winter of our hardship.”
In recent times the currency of politics has become increasingly devalued, and no more so than in this country where ineptitude is commonplace and where even in the midst of the Anglo debacle, we still don’t believe our Government when they say that there is nothing fishy behind their actions.
Yes, the Obama project is needed if we are to ever have respect for politicians anymore. If it fails, then an entire generation of people will disengage themselves from the process and society would be poorer as a result.