Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Barack Obama elected first Black President of the United States!

America--Thanks Indiana, you surprised me: you elected the first Black American President of the United States!! There's no irony here. The last public lynching of Black men in America occurred in Marion, Indiana in the 1930s. We used to be "Klan central," and in some parts of this state we still are. We elected Roosevelt in 1940, but we've tended to vote Republicans into the White House.

Indiana has shifted, and I place much of the cause here to the dying-off of the WWII generation, the economy, and the obvious reasons for the economic mess we're in right now. Americans are also tired of the war and an unaccountable Republican presidency whose last days are finally nigh.

I wondered today, "How will I actually feel when Barack Obama wins this election?"

The only word right now is: elation! No, things aren't going to change overnight, and no, Obama will have his very disappointing moments, but the wheel has at least turned at least on the while, male dominance of the executive branch. Whether this means any significant change in policy remains to be seen, but history (and the public) have a way of forcing the hand of leaders.

Will he be an FDR for our time? I hope so, it was beginning to look like the normal cycle in our politics of GOP excesses followed by the Democrats cleaning it all up wasn't ever going to happen!

None of this means we can all sit-back. We have to all stay engaged and tell President elect Obama what we need from him.

An immediate return to progressive taxation is in order. Will he do this? I'm sorry to say that I doubt he will until 2010--events regarding the economy could force his hand. Obama's cow- towing to corporate interests, his stances on foreign policy, and his stance on socialized medicine, are just a few possible warning signs that he's not going to deliver much unless we tell him what we want in no uncertain terms.

Still, I'm pleased that this has happened and that at least a good number of the GOP are leaving Congress. It's overdue, and it proves that no candidate who voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002 can ever be president. There's more of a chance that Barack Obama will rise to the occasion of another Great Depression than a Republican president, it's just the reality. He might try listening to Ralph Nader some time...oh yeah, and the rest of us. Stay involved.