Feature

Editor's Letter

Obama's victory and the far-out fringe of the Internet

Analysts credit everything from fundraising prowess to President Bush for Barack Obama’s victory. But if you spent the campaign traveling the far-out fringe of the Internet—and what else was there to do at 3 a.m. when those lazy bloggers quit work?—you might have stumbled upon a more sinister explanation. It sounds crazy, I know. But you can’t completely rule out the possibility that Barack Obama is the Antichrist.

First, as I smartly pointed out at that cocktail party back in 2006, it was impossible for Obama to win in 2008. Not just unlikely. Impossible. There’s your supernatural premise, right there. Next, presidential campaigns are long, miserable slogs through muck and quicksand. Yet at every crucial juncture, a glide path materialized beneath Obama’s (cloven?) feet. When Obama faced Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries, her unpopular support of the Iraq war was highlighted by mayhem in Baghdad. Yet by the time Obama emerged to face the war hero John McCain, the fighting seemed curiously pacified, muting concerns about Obama’s foreign policy credentials in the process. Then the McCain campaign, a band of hardened pros who had been granted a luxurious six months for the task, became the first since 1972 to fail to vet a vice presidential pick. As public debate raged over Sarah Palin’s competence, a hellish financial crisis detonated on cue, just weeks before Election Day. Bush all but nationalized the banks as his party attacked Obama as a … socialist. Isn’t all this devilishly strange? Of course, it was probably mere happenstance—beginner’s luck. But just the same, I’ll be watching the next president’s oversize ears for hints of pointiness. And keeping an eye out for a tail, too.

Francis Wilkinson

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