Monday, November 9, 2009


The other day, I was reflecting on how great I, and millions of other people in the United States and around the world, were feeling a year ago, when Barack Obama was elected President Of The United States Of America. I was so elated. So proud. So relieved. It was one of the happiest days of my life.

The celebrations were awesome. Some of the greatest artists on earth campaigned, hard, for the man. Including no less than Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder. Bruce did a gig with Billy Joel (they played as one band, not co-headliners, it was Billy's first political type gig, and John Legend was also there). And of course, huge stars, including Bruce, Stevie, John Legend, and other great artists performed at the various celebrations. It was a historic moment in time, and a great one.

Of course, that wasn't the end, it was the beginning. Getting elected was the easy part. Not too easy, but he was running against a candidate who the Republicans had repeatedly said "no" to, who had choosen a running mate with a popularity cycle akin to that of an indie rock band (everyone loves her! no, she's overrated! no, we hate her, it was all a mistake!). But still, it isn't easy for a black man, or a politically progressive person to get elected, and he pulled it off. Since then, he has had to deal with the most partisan opposition I've seen in my lifetime (sorry, way worse than what the Democrats gave bush), and, as is his habit, he is trying to meet these people halfway. People will criticize him for literally anything. He wants to speak to students on the first day of school. "It's an outrage!" He is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, surprising even him. "It's worthless!" He tries to get the Olympics for Chicago. "We hope he fails!" I mean, come on. Why did he get the Nobel Peace Prize anyway? For not being bush. The award was for America as much as it was for Barack. It was for what he symbolizes.

Barack Obama isn't just a man, although he may wish he was. He represents a lot of things to a lot of people. He represents a hope for the future - bush's followers may have said the same about him, but bush used fear in a way that Barack doesn't, and doesn't need to. I think it is inevitable that Barack (I hope no one is offended by my using his first name) ends up letting some people down. I have a lot of hope for him, I think he will be one of the finest Presidents our country has ever had.

What does this have to do with my blog, other than that it is my blog? Well, as I wrote in my headline, there is this thing called "ACTA" going down - The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. It is, as the writer James Love puts it, a "patriot act for the internet." I'm not a great tech or politics writer, though, so check out what he has to say about ACTA. Is is ironic that a man who has benefitted so heavily from the internet would do something that essentially shuts it down, and would endorse meetings held with a rove-ian level of secrecy. I like to think that this hasn't really reached his radar yet, and when he finds out about it, he won't tolerate it.

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