Thursday, November 20, 2008

Media and definitions

Now don't get me wrong I am happy that the US election panned out as it did, I was very much an Obama man. However one thing I cant get behind is the general media's attitude that the election of an African American president shows that the US has turned a major corner.

Pundits will often cite the "crushing", "landslide" victory that Obama enjoyed once the votes had been counted, and I suppose the electoral college system in the US goes a long way to make the vote often appear more one-sided that in it should. Obama received 53(ish)% percent of the overall vote, now I dont know how the average person would define a landslide, but for me that just doesn't cut the mustard.

Almost half of the US voting population do not want to see Mr. Obama in the Whitehouse, and these nice folk will be gunning for him (hopefully not in the literal sense, but I wouldn't doubt it) for the entire duration of his time as the "Commander in chief".

Say it all you like but 53% does not a landslide make... thats all I have to say about that


Manuel said...

Granted 53% isn't a landslide victory, I think you're forgetting two things here:

1) The US political system isn't made up of polar opposites. There are probably quite a few people who are somewhere in the middle, and some probably preferred McCain but are willing to get behind Obama now that he's president.

2) The talks of America turning a corner is because America is rife with stereotypes. One black president, doing even a SLIGHTLY better job than Bush, will show people that people of different ethnicities can do the job well. In other words, it sets up a positive precedent for the future by de-constructing stereotypes of the past.

Still though, I agree with you that calling it a landslide victory is highly overblown.

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