Thursday, November 1, 2012
Win or Lose on Election Night, President Obama Needs to Study This Interview With Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka
Next week, the American people will select their next President. The odds makers, stats junkies, and folks like Nate Silver are suggesting that Barack Obama has a higher probability of winning the presidency than does Mitt Romney.
However, probabilities are not predictions. Romney still has a significant chance of becoming the President of the United States of America. And as you know, I am putting my money on a combination of historical precedent where the country returns to its norm of having a white president, the power of white racial resentment and animus, and a skillful candidate in Mitt Romney who has run one of the most racist campaigns in modern politics against the country's first black president, combine to unseat Barack Obama.
Whatever the outcome next week, President Obama is going to be limited going forward.
If he loses, the irony is that Obama may be freed as a living legend to pursue the causes he most cares about, and to help people of color, the poor, and the working classes in ways that as President, he could not. If Obama wins, he will be bloodied and wounded. The Tea Party GOP will continue to obstruct his agenda. If Obama wins the electoral college, and loses the popular vote, all bets are off, as this outcome will only embolden the white nationalist secessionist crowd who are the base of the Republican Party.
The Right has already waged a war against Barack Obama's legitimacy. To them, he is not fit to be president because he is black and a Democrat. If Obama wins according to the rules, but not overwhelmingly the people's vote, the White Right, a group who hate Obama more than they love the United States, will be further emboldened in their wickedness and efforts to subvert the Common Good for their own narrow, parochial, self-interested agenda.
Here, Jimmy Snuka had returned to wrestling following a vicious beating by the white racist conservative, and "representative" of Apartheid era South Africa, Colonel De Beers. However, Snuka, like Obama, was not broken. This angle was one of the most overtly racist and honest plays on current events and politics in Cold War, 1980's professional wrestling. Racial slurs were casually used; Colonel De Beers channeled his hatred of non-whites; Audiences comprised of people from all racial backgrounds jeered the villain from South Africa.
Snuka was and is an elite and special wrestler. Obama is a special and unique American. If the latter wins reelection it will be a Pyrrhic victory. Obama will have expended so much energy in his battle with Romney's legions, that he will be unable to advance his agenda even as an incumbent. Snuka wore a neck brace, was beaten, and yet still later defeated Colonel De Beers in a series of great matches. In the end, the "good guy" inevitably won. This was great storytelling.
By contrast, President Obama may defeat Mitt Romney next week. But, President Obama will still lose in the near term.
Consequently, Obama had better watch Jimmy Snuka's interview for some tips about the speech he will give on election night: as either victor or vanquished, the tone will not be that different. Obama will be broken, but perhaps he can still find a way to win in the long-term.