Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Change I Can Believe In

Today was a good day.

Not for me. But for the future.

Today, I believe I’ve seen the first proof of something I have been suspecting for several months.

When Obama got elected I believed it was a good day. Even if his presidency was just a placeholder, the simple fact that a black man was elected president was a victory for equality and civil liberty.

But then I started paying very close attention to everything he did, and that congress did, and that the world did. I talked to people on forums, debated his every action and those of the movers and shakers in Washington. I’ve talked to people who have loved him, hated him, thought he was the savior, or the anti-christ. I’ve talked to people who are liberals, progressives, conservatives, right-wing, left-wing, and even fairy-wing.

And I started noticing something that I am not sure many people did.

No matter what you thought about Obama, he was the main topic of the day.

Every Forum had something to say about him. No matter how diverse the main subject was, somehow, Obama always seemed to pop up in the conversation. From local news to such obscure forums as Life extension and UFOology sites, Obama was everywhere.

I’m a Singularitarian, I believe mankind is heading inevitably into a future so radical in nature that we simply cannot predict what life will be like once we have finally gotten there. A future in which mankind will overcome even death itself by reconstructing his very biology to recreate himself as something beyond what we have always called human. If you read many predictions of the future you will find many serious scientists speaking of the Singularity, the boundary beyond which prediction fails because we cannot even begin to conceive of what a human with superhuman intelligence may be capable of. Ray Kurzweil is one of the best known authors who discusses it, in his “The Singularity is Near.”

The reason why I mention this is because very early on in his presidency, Obama convinced me that like a Singularitarian, he is someone with a very firm eye on the future, and very aware of what it going to be needed to get there. I believe he does indeed have an agenda, and one in which I and every American who wishes our Nation to survive can believe in and support fully. His willingness to encourage science and even undo the ban on stem cell research showed me that he was a man who wanted us to move into the future, rather than drag us back into the past.

But then the opposition to him kept growing, and he seemed to be willing to simply let it, while doing little to actually step up and try to force his agenda through Congress. I’ve heard people on every side claim he’s weak, or that he’s as corrupt as the old president, or that he’s on the take, and every other sort of rumor.

Everywhere you looked, on every news station, every forum.

It seemed like corruption was too strong, the special interests too powerful, the raping of America to popular. Money talked too loudly for the voice of the people to be heard. Powerful lobbying groups could fool people into supporting things which would only aid the wealthy at their own expense, Partisanship was so powerful that his opponents could simply sit back and say no as their sole ploy and people would still allow it.

Yes, even when proof was offered that the public was being manipulated against it’s own interests, it seemed that they would never believe they were being played for fools.

The Republican Party started patting itself on the back for a job well done, celebrating Obama’s “Waterloo”.

In August, it seemed to be all over. Wealth had won, the People were screwed, and America would be raped until it died, while those who did the raping would just reap every last penny of profit from its destruction, then simply go elsewhere.

But, as I said, I’m a singularitarian. One thing I am all too aware of is exponential curves. As I stepped back, and looked over everything, I began noticing the exponential curve that Obama had been building.

You won’t notice it unless you CAN step back and look at all of it. Unless you can look at both sides and realize that there is a forest behind all these trees. It’s there, in the blogs, in the news stories, in the details, and most importantly, it’s there in the comments made by ordinary people to all of these.

Special interests were playing the game they always had. But they failed to take into account one very new fact.

America was watching.

For the first time, America was watching like a hawk. Washington wasn’t the back page story. It wasn’t the final filler piece at the end of the news. It wasn’t the obscure opinion piece buried behind which Hollywood star was sleeping with which other.

It was damn near the ONLY news.

Because Obama made sure it was with his constant appearances, speeches, broadcasts, and webcasts.

So as the corruption in Washington and the special interests kept playing their self serving greedy games at the expense of the American public, Obama made sure America kept paying attention, doling out coil after coil of rope.

Biding his time and waiting for the exponential to curve.

That exponential was America’s willingness to allow themselves to continue to be raped for the profit of the few at the expense of the many.

It was easy to miss. With things like Fox News crowing about the rise in their ratings, Congressmen hemming and hawing over healthcare reform, and Banks raking in record profits from taxpayer dollars, it was all too easy to think that the battle for change had already been lost.

But what wasn’t so obvious was that those things were misleading. Fox’s ratings were growing not because more and more people were starting to agree with them, but because more and more people of every political persuasion were turning away from idle pursuits to pay attention to Washington, and the issues which they had begun to realize meant far more to them and their lives than any movie, TV show, or game.

More of America was watching, reading, and participating. America was becoming ENGAGED.

And that is the exponential curve Obama was watching. He knew that the only way to make real change happen would never be from the top alone. Our Government is DESIGNED to be a cooperative effort from all branches. No single branch can work alone.

Alone, Obama could do nothing. No impassioned speeches would ever change a thing. No campaign promises would accomplish his goals, no public appearance turn America away from the rocks. You cannot steer a ship with a thousand rudders unless you can get enough rudders going the same way.

He had to let the games happen, so that America could see them as they were happening. He had to appear weak, because that was the only way to make America realize it’s own strength.

AMERICA had to want change, and they had to want it badly enough to MAKE IT HAPPEN THEMSELVES.

WE had to become engaged. WE had to wake up and wise up, and understand in absolute clarity that we cannot sit back and let change happen.

Yes, the extremes are on the rise, because the CENTER is moving upwards. The American people are beginning to speak out and step up, to push the fringes aside and tell the special interests ENOUGH.

And that is what Obama has been waiting for.

Today, the OFA aimed for 100,000 calls to Washington to ask for reform. They got over 200,000 at last count and still rising.

Today, Obama stood in the heart of the Financial District, and told Wall Street that the games were over. Regulations were going to happen and they could support them and profit, or resist them and be rolled over.

Today, Business as Usual is over.

Not because of Obama.

But because WE THE PEOPLE have spoken. Obama simply helped us find our voice.

The hemming, the non-committal answers, the willingness to seek the middle, these have all been strategies played by a master to make America finally step up, and tell congress, YOU work for US.

And slowly, we have been doing that. From here on out, we’re going to be doing it more and more.

And that agenda I was saying I believe Obama is aiming for? I believe it’s one were every American can truly say that we are a nation in which our government is FOR the PEOPLE, BY the PEOPLE. The one in which our Founding Fathers pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor so that it should not perish from this earth.

And after 200 plus years… it’s about time.

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