I have to admit, as presidential acceptance speeches go, Obama’s acceptance speech was impressive. It was emotionally provocative (for Americans and non-Americans alike). It was full of hope, calls to action and the collective responsibility of “we the people”. It was all about pumping popular pride in the great United States of America, as the greatest nation on earth. It pushed all the right emotional buttons for Americans and reminded them about everything they have been programmed to believe, since childhood, about the country they live in. It was all about the American dream and the American myth. Obama claimed he has “never been more hopeful about our future, never been more hopeful about America” and proclaimed that “the best is yet to come.” In short, it was a bunch of jingoistic nonsense that flew in the face of the reality of life in the USA and what it has done and continues to do to the rest of the world.
The myth of America and ‘the American dream’, as promoted by politicians and media pundits (among others), has been very effective in buffering the average American against the truth of what America has been and is today. But the grandiose words of politicians alone are never enough to keep the citizens content and obedient. To be truly effective, claims of American exceptionalism and superiority had to be backed up by evidence of it