i’m not a fan of rigid ideology. if you can’t take into account new information and adjust your world view, you’ve strayed into the arena of religious dogma.
this washington post article on obama’s position reminds me of that.
obama is viewed as liberal from the right and centrist from the left. he’s modified his positions to reflect the political reality of the moment. is this flip-flopping? it’s certainly very different from the current administrations view that if “you’re not with us, you’re against us” mentality. obama promises more transparent government, which is a bit like watching sausage get made. it’s ugly, but you may be better off knowing the process.
i think that this election marks the first time that both major party candidates are viewed with distrust by the extremes of both parties. but i think both candidates may have a pragmatic streak that makes it hard to reduce their policy stance as “liberal” or “conservative”. sure mccain is more conservative, but he’s running on a maverick platform. and obama has done much to move to the center these past couple of weeks.
i think that mccain’s rejection by christian conservatives and jesse jackson’s unfortunate comments highlight the changing landscape of american politics over the last 8 years. it may be a glacial change, but it’s there nonetheless.
on the democratic side, we see the generational differences in the black vote regarding obama. he’s supported by the younger black generation who see themselves as the agent of change in the black community. older black leader, who were involved with the civil right movement, see their power base slipping away. a good thing, in my opinion. i believe that the black community has been overly hampered by the jacksons and sharptons who believe government is the answer. you can’t legislate a change in culture.
on the republican side we see a lessening of christian conservative influence that was so important for bush. again, it seems to be generational. older christians see a very polarized world that demands to be met head on. youger evangelicals see a world that requires more harmony and social justice.
this election will be very interesting from an ideological point of view. will the old guard continue to be successful at using prejudice and conflict to stay in power? will the younger generation be able to promote a more pragmatic approach?