New Sectarianism in US Politics: Obama Inauguration, America’s Version of a “Royal Coronation”It seemed to live up to all the pundits’ expectations.
The Second Inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama was broadcast in the genre of an American version of the royal coronation, a Hollywood-style, stage-managed ceremony which, in the final analysis, provided a unique, albeit somewhat dark insight into the ever evolving sectarian nation that is the United States of America.
For most Americans watching, this was an opportunity to forget about the blood sport of cross-party politics to enjoy what veteran Tom Brokaw described as, ‘A chance to see America at its best’, or something to that effect. The biggest topic of conversation in the media was the First Lady’s uniquechoice hair style, and of course her dress. But that is to be expected. Later the event transformed into a pop concert, as the artist called Beyonce sang national anthems one and two. That was also to be expected.Most importantly however, is how the President would use this latest spotlight event. One could not help but get the feeling from Obama’s acceptance speech that this is a President who is ready to place political gamesmanship, and his celebrity image – above substance and integrity. The Democratic Party often accuses the Republican tribe of being ‘out of touch’ with the pulse of modern America – and perhaps accurately so, but what has become ultimately clear after observing how this White House manages its media output is that the Democrats have become completely dependent on the President’s media image as celebrity-in-chief. He looks and sounds ‘progressive’, but in reality, he is leading a nation through a period of regression.