Yes it is important that we now have the first African American president in our history but I don't really think race had as much to do with this as the simple fact that we had enough of business as usual. I'm proud not only that race didn't effect people's vote but that one or two platform fear politics wasn't choosen.
This is huge. Sarah Palin was brought on to court the religious right conservative vote. It didn't work. We are not talking about the conservatism of Barry Goldwater but that of Bush, Reagan and Jerry Falwell. It has been very effective over the last 30 years in causing Nixon's Silent Majority to vote soully based off religious beliefs. Something that strongly goes against the conservative belief of keeping governorment out of the personal life of it's citizens.
The fact is that we have had three presidents in the last 30 years that were prolife, Reagan, Bush and little Bush. Though they have tried to limit the freedom of a woman's right to choose, the right has been up held. Causing little or no change. Pray in Schools is never going to happen. Really does anyone who follows the teaching of Christ of tolerance, love and separation of church and state, believes in their hearts that government should be involved in the personal sex life of any of it's citizens? A break from this is huge! Instead of wasting time talking about these 3 or 4 issues, we can begin to talk about some of the issues of social and economic reform that needs to be done.
On January 21, 2001, it was like the United States were sent back in time to 1981. Let's not even get into the Supreme Court one time decidion or the stopping of the recount that began the Bush years. Let's talk about the fact that we had a return to the reduction of social programs, militay spending returning to a cold war level and the begin of a level of laissez faire we haven't seen since Teddy Roosevelt and his big stick came marching into Washington. I mean, he in fact tried to bring back the Star wars project(SDI). Leaving many of us sratching our head. oh and a foreign policy that was at it's heart, "Fuck you were America. You are either with us or against us."
Let's face it, there was nolonger the Evil Empire to point to as a need for security. We all breathed a sigh of relief with the down fall of the USSR and the end of the arms race. So just who we protecting ourselves against? We would soon have that answer. When 911 happened we were all shocked and angry. However this is not a country that did this. This is a group of mislead people. How do you stop it from happening again seeded to fall by the side while this idea of revenge built. America entered a period of fear and hatred that was fuild by a president that choice to lead us into a two front line war.
Many in his circle of power used the fear building in the citizens of this country to reduce civil rights not only of those that may have been involved in the attack but those they that opposed their point of view. They indorsed the uses of state supported torture that this country hasn't seen sicne the Salem Witch trials.
Let's face it we are in a dark place in America just 8 short years since he took office. There seems to be no easy way out of Iraq or Afghanistan. The threats of Unemployment and the fact that the service industry which is the back bone of this country is down 40% from last year. Millions of Americans in threat of becoming homeless. A huge gap between the wealthy and the poor. America has also lost the respect of the other citizens of this planet.
There has been a lot of talk about sacrifices and working toward a new America. What does that mean? I don't really know. If anything, most of the victims GW and his policies, feel that we have been making sacrifices all along. Not so much volunteerly but still we did. Wall Street showed it's support of Ohama today down after being up yesterday. Do they fear there is a new sheriff in town and that their rain of lawlessness is over? Last night I got a vision of the scene from Blazing Saddles when Cleavon Little character comes riding into town and the whole town is "He's a _______" then it turns out that they have to follow him to save their town. Though at first they are against it, over time they realise that he's their only hope. I really hope that Wall Street understands this. It's like when we punish our own kids and even though it hurts us, we do it cause it is for their own good. At this point in history it holds more true then ever.
So what are these sacrifices going to be? One of them maybe paying less for goods, reducing our spending and saving, reducing our waste and conserving. Think long and hard about where you are spending you money. Pay that extra to support local businesses over the national chain. Think about where you money will be going and how much waste you are producing by drive that extra 10 miles to save a couple of bucks. Think long and hard about the difference between your wants and your needs. Don't get side tracked by the comercial view of what the American Dream means.
What I would like to see in the next 4 years:
- Something that dates back to Teddy Roosevelt universal health care and national health insurance.
- Taxing of off shore corporations and increase regulation of big business.
- Reduction of the trade deficit with China.
- The removal of no bid contracts to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. Nothing will effect change there more than giving the people of these country jobs.
- Reduction in Military spending by stabilizing Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home.
- Increase in taxes on the wealthy of this country and increased spending on social programs.
- A focus on ending poverty in this country and through out the world.
- A ban on the use of torture in any form by the US.
- Investing on the infrastructure of the country with a focus on public transportation.
- A commitment to moving ourselves away from coal and oil through the use of Nuclear, solar and wind based energies. The governorment has to make it more expensive to product energy through fossil fules then non fossil fules. Instead of focusing on what is in development use the technologies we already have.
- A governorment buy back for all cars or trucks with 20 MPG or less and the outlawing production of any car or truck not for commercial uses that is less than 30 MPG.
- Moving the work force from the service industry back into manufacturing. Not only redcing the trade deficit but giving the poor the ablity to put food on their table with a job that doesn't involve a paper hat or a blue smock.
- Either destroying the "No child Left behind" program or completely rewriting it. It doesn't work and won't work as it is now.
- A rehaul of the laws that govern the credit industry. Yes the American public is at fault to a degree but the laws that were set in place where not effective in controling access to credit.
- Reducing the inflated value of the housing market and the stock market. There has to be a control that actively protects consumers against inflted value. Sure there is a market driven inflation but it has been out of control since the 90s. If the lastest recession has taught us anything there is a way to drive values up without the influence of free market. If anything the market is trying to balance itself. The problem is that the victims of this balancing act is not the rich but the middle and lower class.
I know it's a lot to ask but without reform nothing will get better. It is only a start in a long line of the programs and reform started over a hundred years ago. We can still be that Great Society. This country has suffered many shitty leaders and overcome them and we will do it again.
Thanks for reading my ramblings and once again America I'm proud of you.
November 5th, 2008