Politics in postmodernism, 2008 election

Having felt a similar sort of response as KF mentioned in class - one of both great intrigue and at once horror at the idea of No Future - I am quite compelled by Edelman's discussion around the work of Politics against the politics of the sign, as well as the marking that occurs with queerness as resistive practice.

I read, as did many other blog posters it seems, Edelman as positing Politics - of the electoral sort - as an enactment of a 'strategy of the real' in its struggle to maintain the Symbolic order by simulating a false image of struggle for meaning, in which the subject becomes eventually lost to an endless chain of signification. The death drive serves as that to which Politics, as such, is inherently opposed: creating a discourse of historical continuity (aka: reproductive futurism) Politics presents us with an articulation of the world that we take to be the real. What resonates so powerfully behind this, as well as with the discussion around Baudrilliard, is that this specific evocation of American Politics as a tool in the maintenance of the postmodern condition, offers a very concrete and meaningful exploration of the otherwise abstracted 'strategy of the real.'

Needless to say there are endless connections to contemporary politics to draw upon, but I wonder how might we situate sentiments regarding the 2008 election in light of Edelman's indictment of Politics. I see, in some ways, as the discourse around Clinton v Obama as exemplary of just this sort of shallow conflict: white woman versus black male for the role of leader of the 'free world' yet the conflict over identity is surface at best. Neither candidate could possibly prioritize their identity in this national race, nor could they pursue real hard policies that would be indicative of this shift in political power. The power may appear to shift, and indeed, history, as it is written, may be made; yet the conflict, I would argue, serves to tout the flag of Progress, and in many ways, may stifle many attempts at true social change.

So where race and gender fail to break through the dominant discourse, Edelman, I imagine would love to see a rhetorically queer candidate. Hard to imagine? The point, precisely. I often found throughout the reading that perhaps Edelman is taking the oppositionality of queerness to the extreme, but when placed in this context, indeed, its challenge to the Child and the Future indeed limits its political participation to a profound degree.