Picture it. I think it's possible that the Obama 2012 campaign could touch many people — people who are suffering, out of work, occupying Wall Street (or wherever) — by prompting them to get in touch with the great old feeling of the good old days... in 2008... when we were young... when we had dreams...
I know you may scoff and say that every single reference to the abstractions and fuzzy feelings of 3 years ago will only draw derision and intensify the pain. But there's so much pain... At some point, won't people want to take the drug that worked so well that other time. What intense pleasure! What brilliant hallucinations! It calls to you.
Well, not necessarily you. But you see my point?
This notion crossed my mind while I was watching this February 2008 video of Michelle Obama. I'd been searching for that old quote of hers, something like Barack will never allow you to go back to your old lives.
The actual quote is: "Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."
My initial reaction to that today was that it was weird how much she's insulting people... and they love it. They wanted transformed lives, but look how bad things are today. We really were deprived of our "lives as usual," but not in a good way.
The larger context of the quote is:
Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.See? You have the problem of being cynical and isolated. You're too comfortable. You need to do a whole lot better. Barack Obama will require you to work. I know: ridiculous. Now. Lines like that stoke the very cynicism he demanded that we shed!
That was my initial reaction. But then I saw the potential. The cynicism may seem much more justified now, but it also hurts, and people remember when words like this made them feel as good as they've ever felt about politics in their whole lives.
Don't you see the potential for hordes of people to embrace the simple pleasures of nostalgia? When I drive my car, I turn on the satellite radio and put on the 60s channel, where I'm always young and carefree. It's 2011, but I can push the button for the 60s, musically. There's a political button marked 2008, and I think there's a decent chance there are a whole lot of people who would love to push it.