Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Thank You, New Hampshire !

The media and surveys dictatorship has been unmade.

In the last months, all the media, all the analysts and editorialists were talking about the inevitability of Hillary Rodham’s election as the Democrats’ candidate. Some regretted it, and kept bashing her at every opportunity. Those same people were oh, so keen to point out the problems that would unfailingly arise from inexperience and the mistakes or blunders of a certain Barack Obama.

Then came the Iowa Caucuses. And, in a now overused routine of coat-turning, all the media started bashing on Hillary Rodham in earnest, while drooling with ecstasy over Barack Obama. Within a single day, experience, knowledge, an invaluable team of advisers and strength became huge disadvantages and points that would unerringly drag Hillary into total and utter failure. Within that same day, Barack Obama, who has gathered more money than the Clintons for his campaign, became the champion of change with empty declarations like “I’ll end the partisan bickering” (everyone with a shred of brains knows that this is just utopia, and will never happen in a world populated with human beings) and “I embody change”.

In the course of a single day, a candidate was dumped into the junkyard, while the other became the new “inevitable nominee”. He had all the media could dream of: nice and sympathetic face, good actor performance, nice family, a little bit of color, and the urban legend that he’s a little guy who climbed up the ladder all by himself. The perfect American Dream. And of course, since he's relatively new to the scene, people hadn’t yet had time to grow bored with him. As usual, everyone forgot that they will always be disappointed with anyone who’s been in power, and who’s had to face failure, and the hardships of actually doing something in a world dominated by a market and an economy gone mad in a globalized environment the politicians now have almost no leverage on. Add tot his the slogans that he’d end partisan wars and unite the country, well, how could the media resist?

The bashing went on for Hillary, while Barack became something like the second coming. Surveys were produced, foretelling the demise of Hillary, and the continued rise of Barack. Editorialists started writing paper advising Hillary on the right manner to bow out of the race. When Hillary showed the slightest sign of what could be interpreted as a weakness, it was broadcast all over the internet and all over the TV channels.

And then, against all odds, the results of the vote in New Hampshire came.

And the media got a very, very much needed reality check.

And the citizens of New Hampshire gave me back a reason to hope in democracy. The citizens of New Hampshire denied the rule of the media and surveys, and exercised their right to choose whomever they please, whether it pleases the great and all powerful media or not.

So I want to say thank you, New Hampshire, for giving the world a reality check, and for reminding us that people are free.

That people’s votes and opinions will not be dictated by surveys and flip-flop media.

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