Sunday, August 16, 2009

Political Archetype

Reading Booker's discussion of archetype, I was struck by how much played out in the last presidential election. Robin Hood was a half-Norman, half-Saxon hero who (supposedly) robbed from the rich to give to the poor. He didn't really, as his gig was more in the line of general outlawry and harrying the Norman overlords (hmm, maybe there's something in that line of thought). But it has a real Obama feel to it, dunnit? McCain, OTOH, had been in the dungeons of the monster and was a proven old warrior. A lot of Obama's support seemed predicated on the almost mystic idea that "it's time," and his youthful, Luke Skywalker greatness was destined to step into leadership. Complaints that he had no experience were dismissed as people just not getting it. He comes out of obscure origins, too, another plus in those plots. Obama's own comments suggest this Kwisatz Haderach view of himself, uniting the races, bridging the understanding between the elites and the regular guy, tying together the capitalist and the socialist, the East and the West, the Christian and the secular, just by showing up and being himself. Beer summits for all.

I suspect such archetypes always linger beneath the surface in all our election decisions. But this one seems to have been particularly problematic.

1 comment:

karrde said...

Perhaps because there was so little else going on in the election...or so little to offer.

What do two Senators argue about when all the people with executive experience have been weeded out of the race for Chief Executive? (One one side, Romney, Guiliani, Huckabee, etc. On the other side...Bill Richardson.)

However, I do wonder if the entertain-me culture has finally taken a majority position in elections, resulting in elections like our most recent.