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Space for Rent: The Antebellum Presidency



Let’s be honest, Barack Obama will not be remembered as a great president of the United States. While some tout his accomplishments, outside of the expansion of health care he did little else but to moderate yet continue the policies of his predecessors. At a time when the nation, and indeed the world yearned for radical change, a massive re-balancing of power and a path away from Neo-Liberal policies and Empire, Obama simply stayed the course.

His presidency was nothing more than an antebellum presidency, a failed attempt to keep the Nation together through weak compromises that the other side rejected outright. When confronted with the opportunity to stem the tide of the worse of the American psyche, the most destructive of American impulses, he was not only unable but unwilling to do so. He tried,half-heartedly, to refill the American Rubicon, established by figures such as Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower. But there was no new ground for Empire to conquer and no interest by the corporate powers to see the American worker as less disposable than any other worker in the global market.

The future is bleak. Those who vie for power will plunge the country into more wars, more Imperial expeditions, and more divisive policies at home.

And then…well, as radical as it may seem, history points to the ashes of Empire. Empires consumed by internal strife and buried by their enemies. It may not happen in my lifetime but it is not such a radical idea after all.

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