A somewhat interesting and fairly well written account of the backround and political views of current president Barack Obama. The autobiographical asA somewhat interesting and fairly well written account of the backround and political views of current president Barack Obama. The autobiographical aspects of this book were interesting, hearing about what it was like growing up for Obama, about his Kenyan father and white mother, about the values his mother instilled in him. He goes on to mention how he came to meet his wife and start a family with her, and some of the political work he's undertaken throughout his short career as a politician. This is definately the best part of the book, and it paints a picture of Obama as a much more interesting, real, and authentic figure than most American politicians.
The parts of the book that I disliked the most was Obama's pathetic defense of religious moderation and patriotic sentimentality. Religous moderation is little more than half-assed religiosity which gives cover to religious extremism by reducing the conflict to a theological dispute. I tend to view patriotism as nausiating arrogance and national tribalism. Obama's gushing over how great America is did not change my view on this. To be fair to Obama, these are largely third rail political issues in American politics, and it probably would have been impossible for Obama to get elected to high office in this country if he was shouting "FUCK CHRIST" while pissing on an American flag.
Another thing I didn't like was Obama's strategy for reforming health care. He thinks that we can have universal health care by simply introducing technology into the system. The improved efficiency this creates will, Obama thinks, make health care affordable to all Americans. This strategy, in combination with his critical statements on campaign trail about how socialized health insurance is coerced payment, makes it look like Obama is bending over backwards to accomodate a private health insurance policy. If this is not prostitution to private health insurance companies, then it shows undue deferance towards the presumptive justice of the idea that pretax income is rightfully "ours". Obama needs to read the Myth of Ownership.
The final problem I had with the Audacity of Hope is Obama's biparitsan strategy for getting things done in Washington. Basically, Obama's strategy is one of compromise, of making concessions to conservatives, or what is sometimes referred to as going centrist on issues. I'm a thouroughgoing left wing liberal, and I hate the idea of ceding policy to ideological right wingers. Fuck that shit!
On just about any aspect one would care to gauge, Obama is a welcome change to the abyssmal failure of the Bush administration. Practically everything about the man, from his backround, to his character, to his policies, will be a marked improvement over the Bush years. More importantly, he was clearly a better choice than the egregious stupidity and religious zealotry of Sarah Palin and the douchebaggery of McCain. America, and much of the world community will undoubtedly welcome the change Obama brings to the table....more