Saturday, December 27, 2008

On a Mood

I don't think I've ever experienced the strangeness of the world we live in now--optimistic and pessimistic at the same time. The economy is getting worse and worse, and many people couldn't be more excited about the new Obama administration.

Obviously they are not related by cause and effect--Obama is not even president yet, and has had no impact, save for perhaps a small positive one on the stock market, since he has been elected. 

But they are related in other ways. For one, people seem to be feeling part of something larger than themselves in both a positive and negative way (or just negative, I guess, if you're not an Obama supporter). The optimism about Obama is related to the economic downturn. It certainly would have been more difficult for Obama to get elected in a good economy. And one feels the optimism because there are problems in the United States and the world that many people believe Obama can solve.  Without significant problems, the basis or need for optimism is less tangible. Which is what hurt Al Gore in running for president--there was no seemingly urgency to elect him. 


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