by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths
We wish President Obama well, and pray that the government and it's ministers will be favorably disposed to us, to all of Klal Yisroel, and to the nation of Israel. Like every new president, he gets his honeymoon - his chance to come in, get up to speed, start making his changes in policy, flub a few things, and for us to get a feel for where he's headed and how well he's going to do it.
There have been times when the US has been in serious trouble. National division, terrible scandals, civil unrest, external enemies, economic downturns, war. There have been times of American MISERY. The Great Depression, Vietnam, the late 70's Stagflation. Times when hope faded.
The 2000's where not one of them. The economy grew at a steady strong rate from 1994 - 2007, with a brief recession in there due to a bubble bursting and another due to 9/11. World stability was still good, with the sole exception was 9/11.
Standards of living went way up. Many people made money on real estate, upgraded their homes, extracted and spent equity. New cars became the norm. Big screen TV's a standard. From the rich to the poor, almost everyone was on the train.
As the election came along, the Republicans were recognized as having failed at governing well. They overspent, wildly so. They abandoned much of their conservative principles, losing some of their base, and their limited government principles, losing more of their base. The Democrats were energized, opposing a president who starting overstepping their traditional concerns of personal rights, and had been spewing much rhetoric that was out of step with much of the country.
So the Democrats were energized for a fight, and the Republicans ready to dump many of their people. The Democrats ran a great campaign, maximizing use of the latest methods (internet, you tube, etc). The Republicans ran an average campaign at best (I'm being generous), clearly not enough to overcome the challenges.
So the Democrats won. But along the way, before the economic troubles of our time became so clear and deep, Mr. Obama transformed from a strong candidate to The One. While the United States of America can be rightly proud at overcoming barriers of the past and selecting a son of immigrants from a formerly persecuted segment of society, things seem to have gone a little overboard.
Perhaps when Moshiach comes (may it be today!) we will again see such a celebration and outpouring of adulation. Until then, such ... worship ... of a public figure is ... worrisome. He is indeed being declared the ... savior.
One wonders if indeed we are seeing the opposite forces at work, bestowing faith that should be in G-d and directing it towards a man.
BS"D - בסיעתא דשמיא