Chapter

Imagining Heroes

JEFFREY C. ALEXANDER

in The Performance of Politics

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199744466
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199944163 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199744466.003.0005
Imagining Heroes

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Political stories are all about heroes. It is because Barack Obama could not be a hero in south Chicago's black community that he lost that long-ago congressional race. Only by losing could Obama become a hero on the larger historical stage. There is a purpose to a hero's life. It is this goal that defines an arc stretching from the past to the future via the present, moving the heroes and the greater causes for which they fight from earlier despair to contemporary redemption and on to future glory. Persons who become heroes are predestined to traverse this rainbow arch. This is what the plot to their story is all about. This chapter discusses the hero's predestination and redemption, crisis and salvation, and the suffering and redemption of John McCain. In the campaign for the presidency, McCain played Achilles to Obama's Hector, even if the outcome of their epic confrontation inverted the tragic ending Homer earlier prescribed.

Keywords: heroes; Barack Obama; predestination; redemption; crisis; salvation; John McCain; presidency

Chapter.  11290 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociology

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