Kaieteur News – In the middle of Barack Obama’s international mega-stardom, he suffered a crushing defeat in 2010 with the midterm elections. In that poll, Obama’s party suffered the largest shift in seats since 1948. The Republicans gained 63 seats and barely missed a majority in the senate. In the governors’ race and State assembly elections in that year, Obama took a serious beating.
In his second term election, Obama lost the House of Representatives and the Senate thus literally clipping his wings to soar to greater heights if he wanted to fly there, though I doubt he did. Why did this happen to a man who the entire world was in love with but not the American people anymore?
If you are not familiar with American politics but when you get the answers why Obama began to stumble, then you will see why the AFC was slaughtered thus bringing victory to the PPP. Obama took the US by storm. Highly educated, civilised by American political standards and conceived as a humane radical, there was an aura of magic that surrounded Obama during the election in 2008.
When he got into power, he didn’t fulfill the expectations of the countless millions in the US. There was plenty of form but not enough substance. But more importantly, he showed what he essentially was – a figure of the status quo, another team member of the establishment. He virtually bankrolled Wall Street. That is what establishment politicians are expected to do. By 2010, the magic had gone and he appeared in the eyes of the electorate as just another American president. Indeed he was.
The identical thing happened in Guyana with the AFC. We will come to that below. In the US, Obama could not see that he had lacerated the expectations of countless numbers. He lived in the delusion in 2012 that the magic was still there. His lack of a legacy destroyed the chance of Hilary Clinton to beat Trump. She appeared to the American people as just another politician like Obama.
This syndrome has also dented a handsome majority for Biden. Biden suffered losses in the House of Representatives and failed to win the Senate. This could be directly related to how White Americans and non-African Americans saw Obama. If the Democrats go with Kamala Harris in 2024, she will have the Black vote but not the White vote. People will say “not another Obama – all flair but no substance.” She is going to lose to Trump or another Republican candidate.
This is what happened in Guyana with the AFC. This column was done because of an encounter I had yesterday with a young man as I had finished filling up my five-gallon bottle of water at Gainmart Supermarket on UG Road where I live. He approached me and said he is a science student at UG but liked politics. He explained that his father was a school teacher greatly influenced by Walter Rodney. He said because of his father’s political belief, his father voted three times for the AFC and as a first time voter, in 2020, he gave his ballot to the AFC.
He looked at me with determined eyes, and asked me to give just one reason why the APNU+AFC lost the election. I told him that was conceptually impossible. I indicated that the dialectics do not work like that. He explained that events have multi-causal factors.
Telling me he didn’t know what dialectics were, he intoned, “Mr. Kissoon, try, try hard to find the reason you would think is the one.” By this time I was laughing. I paused for a moment and then I uttered these words, “I think the AFC’s magic had gone, people began to hate them and that made them lose the votes they needed to retain power.”
I wanted to leave so I added a few more comments. I did tell him that I think that people saw Obama in power as different from when he was not in power. And that the same thing happened in Guyana with the AFC. Everyone thought the AFC leaders were people who would go in there, like Obama, and shake things up.
When people saw that the AFC’s mask had fallen off, their emotions ran deep. They hated the AFC. I am part of the Guyanese electorate and I confess I felt that way. From 2015, they asked themselves how different was the AFC from the PPP leaders that they criticised in order to get the votes of the Guyanese people. When the 2020 election came around the 30,000 that voted for the AFC in 2011 had returned to the PPP that they felt was a better party.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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