An unprecedented amount of interest South of the border has exploded within the country’s political scene. The buzz is so great that Canadians have jumped on the band wagon. I’m willing to even assert more Canadians tuned in and carefully followed the political game in the US compared to their own elections. Today, while Obama was being sworn in, countless Canadians were glued to their TV set, stopping whatever they were doing to witness history. This got me thinking….what’s with all the fanfare, why do we love Obama?
Why do half of Americans, and so many Canadians, love Obama? What makes American politics so interesting to seemingly apathetic Canadians? How and why have an unheard of amounts of young people connected themselves into the Obama camp?
Does the man really represent the tide of change in a country desperately in the need for strong leaders? Are Canadians so starved for the same leader that they must live vicariously? Does Obama help us dream? Does he give us hope?
Whether you like him or not, whether you agree with the politics or not, putting these aside I’m left with an interesting observation: Obama represents a new era of language.
Here’s what I mean. If you caught a single presidential debate, or any instance where John McCain and Barack Obama were speaking side by side, you noticed something. They are both capable leaders, both smart men, both loved and cherished by their own. However, despite what you saw, what you heard were two completely different paradigms, two different cultures, two different languages.
It was abundantly clear that Obama spoke to a new generation, not necessarily a demographic, but a person who thinks and acts differently than those in a McCain camp. Obama spoke about the air of change, embracing diversity, looking beyond partisan lines, getting people connected into their communities and dreams. McCain seemed to speak more about status quo, protecting what we’ve always cherished, hanging on to our ideals, staying the course of indifference (opinion).
Excitement grew around Obama because his perspective was more accessible and coherent to the public–he speaks in a language we can understand and connect with.
This relates in a big way to how church operates in Calgary. There is an aging generation of leaders more concerned about their retirement and loss in their portfolio versus connecting with the world around them. There is a generation of church leader that is too afraid or uninterested with looking beyond the outdated systems they’ve always known.
You may not agree with Obama, and heck, he’s not our leader, but I can say that the church community that is rising at Calgarychurch sounds and acts in the culture/language of Obama. That does not mean McCain, or people in that kind of ‘McCain-headspace’ are wrong, far from it. But they do represent and inward way of communicating and existing, one that is mostly incapable of executing enough change to remain at the forefront of the culture they exist in.