Simon Heffer’s editorial on what lies ahead for president-elect Obama, America, and therewith the world seems sensible enough. He asks, "Now we need to find out what ’change’ means." Do tell. Some snippets:
There has, though, been an act of faith by the US electorate on a gigantic scale, as it thrusts this unproven and untested man into the teeth of these challenges.
we may well be about to see the greatest era of radicalism in American politics since Roosevelt. If America really is no longer an instinctively conservative nation, Mr Obama can proceed with tax increases, the extension of public services such as healthcare, the introduction of environmental legislation, the legitimisation of many millions of illegal immigrants, and the provision of federal funds to pay for abortions. It is not beyond possibility that Mr Obama could even find himself taken prisoner by his own party, as Nancy Pelosi, as Speaker of the House, leads it through a radical programme that takes the new president at his word about "change".
Should Mr Obama proceed with healthcare reforms, the costs of those would be laid on employers. What all this would do to stimulate enterprise and recovery is far from clear.
Iran, Afghanistan and Russia, and irritating difficulties on Mr Obama’s own doorstep in Central and South America are sure to test him. Mr Obama has so far displayed a mixture of immaturity and naivety on such questions.
"Change" will therefore mean either something really big and IMHO devastating to Americans inthe not so long run, or something really mundane--to wit, the change any election produces when times are tough. Obama is clearly a Progressive politician who employs patriotic rhetoric as the spoonful of sugar to help a Democratic Congress and now President get the medicine to go down. When the details coem to light, I trust the American people to push back.