Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Yes, We Can | We Shall Prevail

Stuart K. Hayashi


I have a friend I'll call "X." X mentioned to me a year ago that a friend of his said that the mark of a talented political demagogue, who can successfully beguile the masses, is that he will often express a certain sentiment in his speeches. X told me that soon after his friend said that, he coincidentally heard Barack Obama express that very same sentiment in a speech, but he couldn't remember what it was.

It makes me wonder if that sentiment is huge overemphasis on collectivist unity.

In his Tuesday, January 8, 2008 speech in New Hampshire, Barack Obama said, "We are one nation, one people..."

And then I thought, "Aren't those almost the same words used by Big Brother in the famous 1984 Apple Macintosh commercial?"

Sort of. Compare them.

* Apple Commercial

* Obama 1/8/08 New Hampshire speech (He says, "We are one people, one nation" at the 00:05:25 mark)

The repeated chanting of "Yes, we can! Yes, we can!" in the Obama speech also reminded me of Big Brother proclaiming, "Weee shallll pre-vail!"

"National unity" is overblown. What is more relevant than our being "one people" is that we are each individuals. Rather than "We are one people," it is: "You are one person." And I am one person. That's the way it ought to be.