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Obama elected! Job done, right?
Uh… not quite. If last week’s sweeping vote for change is to mean anything substantive, We The People have stay alert and on the move. And the job begins now.
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Like fresh-poured concrete, the shape of Obama’s presidency is going to set up quickly, and we can’t be lulled into thinking that casting a ballot is all that democracy requires of us. Now is not the time to crank back in our La-Z-Boys, trusting Obama to do the heavy lifting for us. Wall Street, the war machine, Republican Congress critters, weak-kneed Democrats, and other powerful forces of business-as-usual policies will be all over him. These insiders intend to shape him in their mold.
We have to be the counter force – an aggressive and vociferous Loyal Opposition pushing insistently and persistently from the outside. We must stand up and speak out on every move the insiders make; we must propose and propel progressive ideas and ideals; and we certainly must expose and vigorously oppose any capitulations that he’ll be pressured to make to the corporate powers. If his presidency is to be worthy of the deep potential of this political moment in our history, you and I have to step up.
It’s real change we’re after, a fundamental shift in national direction and policy: Get our troops and our national reputation out of Iraq, provide good health care for all, end “tinkle down” economics, reign in corporate greedheads, reinvest in America’s infrastructure, deal with global warming, no more torture, get serious about green energy, restore our stolen liberties – and generally reinstate the Common Good as our nation’s governing ethic.
Obama himself has often said that he is not the change, we are. Through him, we opened the White House door to the possibility of change last Tuesday. Now, we must see it through.