The celebration is officially over; I’ve decided that the majority of people needed for the movement to gain legs cannot handle the multi-tasking involved in celebrating and demanding change. Barrack Obama has the potential to be the best president ever; he has the potential to change the world for the better, to give the US back the respect that it once had. He has the potential to get rid of Guantanamo Bay, torture, endless wars on things like terror and drugs, the Patriot Act, and many other scarring things that have been shoved down our throats for the past many 8(0?) years. They key word here is potential. There is no way he is going to do any of these things if we don’t make the necessary noise. This is not saying the Obama is not a good man, because I have never met him and probably will never get to. What I am saying is that he is a politician (not just a politician, but a politician none the less) who had to make certain promises and accept money to make it to where he is. He is a politician who – I’m sure – is aware that he will be up for re-election in a few short years and everything he does will be scrutinized by people like the Sarah Palin 2012 nutbags. What we have working on our side though (I hope) is that he is also a politician who understands that change comes from the bottom and ultimately the bottom is who got him elected, so he also needs to answer to us over the next four years. He cannot answer to us, however, if we are not demanding it. Someone (either Boots Riley or Camilo Mejia) was talking about the New Deal a few days ago- that some grassroots groups brought Roosevelt this propisition. He couldn’t get it done on his own though; he supposedly told the people, “This is a great idea; now get on the streets and make me do it.” That, I feel, is the key; the thing that a lot of people are having a lot of trouble understanding. Conscience or no conscience, President-Elect Barrack Obama is a politician.
The man has officially been President-Elect for a week now and – while he has talked a good game – he has already done things that should make us realize we still have a big job ahead of us. I already talked a little about Rahm Emanuel to no avail, but there are other things that need to be pointed out. Joe Lieberman struts about calling himself a Democrat and yet is a huge warmonger, who made comments to the effect that whether or not we agree with the war, we have to support it because our President supports it and he’s our leader. He also campaigned with and for John McCain as opposed to the man from his own party. I’m not sure why he’s allowed to go around with a D still attached to his name, but I think that that is unchangeable. However, Lieberman is also the head of Committee of Homeland Security and Government Affairs as well as being on the Committee on Armed Services. Now that the Democrats have a strong majority in the Senate, many are calling on the decision to be made to strip Mr. Lieberman of these titles. It is not a huge deal that Mr. Obama is not calling for the same thing, but it does show how close to the center he is becoming in such a short amount of time.
One of the big reasons Obama gained so much support from people like me (not me, but LIKE me) was because of his willingness to meet with officials from other countries with no strings attached. John McCain mocked him for this, but I think that most rational people agreed that we should at least have open dialogue with our “enemies”, no matter what is going on. Since getting elected, Mr. Obama has been very noncommittal about this; he claims to not want to step on any feet, but at the same time is talking about potentially reversing some Bush decisions. Perhaps more important than the celebrations that occurred around the election of Mr. Obama in the US, are the celebrations that happened in other countries. We actually have a chance to turn enemies into friends, it’s almost like a new beginning, but Obama has to act on it. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent Mr. Obama a letter, which is a pretty good way to start a relationship. I understand if Mr. Obama does not want to set up any meetings right this second, I also understand the need for lower level people to meet before Obama and Ahmadinejad actually sit at a table and talk. However, to not even respond to the letter – to hardly acknowledge it except by making vague comments about the unacceptedness of Iran’s nuclear weapons (which don’t even exist) – is a horrible way to make enemies into friends.
I understand that neither of the two things I mentioned have had any effect on anything yet – Obama has not said that he supports Lieberman or that he will refuse to send people to meet with Iran – but we are responsible for making sure things go the right way. If we just sit back and say to ourselves “I totally trust our savior to make the right decisions concerning everything” or “ let’s just wait till something happens and then react to it”, things will start to go in the wrong direction. I’ve said it 1000 times before and I’ll say it all the way to my grave- we the people must stand up and scream. We must take to the streets wherever Obama goes, we must write letters to all the newspapers, magazines, and TV stations in our areas. Something amazing that Obama is doing is that on his website he has a form for us to fill out where we can express our opinion as to what he should do. I took full advantage of this and suggest that every single person who “supports” this man do the same. Not just once, but every single time you see something that stands out – whether positive or negative – go to the website and take two minutes of your time to make your voice heard.