Thursday, June 5, 2008

Vote Poet as President! Obama and the New Cultural Convergence

Image via CBC News

About a year ago I made a prediction on the elections. I was wrong, and could not be more thrilled. I predicted that Clinton would win the Democratic elections only because she had more (ill-begotten lobbyist) money. The Republicans would elect another Bible-waving idiot. The country would proceed to the general elections firmly resolving to vote Democratic and anti-war. They would, however, be so put off by Clinton that the Republicans would win de-facto. I would spend the next four years diving under the couch when the state-of-the-union address appeared, determined to ignore the mess and humiliation that was politics in our country and focus on poetry instead...

There are two things that particularly thrill me about Obama's rise to securing the Democratic nomination:

1) The means by which he went about securing it. Ever since I was a kid and read a Forbes issue on Convergence just when the possibilities the the Internet started becoming apparent, I've held we are living in exciting, revolutionary times. Up til now, though, I excluded politics from this revolution. Washington was a bunch of gray-hairs absurdly behind the times. Methods by which people were elected were 17th century ilk encrusted by 200 years ensuing complications. Nothing could break through the Washington citadel. This is what I believed until Obama started beating out competition on Facebook, U-tube, blogs, and on-line donations. Yay! Freedom of speech and true democratic participation have returned!

2) Obama's genius for distilling the issues of our times. January 07 I wrote a speech for Toastmaster's in which I wrote about why I ignored politics and focused on art. The right-wing/left-wing stance on all the major political subjects discussed (abortion, war in Iraq, immigration) simply no longer had anything to do with the issues I confronted in life. What concerned me...the surfing the web, education and , were not even noticed by the partisan politics. Politics had become isolated from what was happening in my life, culturally, socially, and economically.

At this point, I am a true Obamaniac. I don't even care if Obama's plans for revising health care and improving the economy actually work. Being the arrogant millennial that I am, I've grown up believing I'd have to solve these problems for myself anyway. What prevents me starting a company, learning languages, living healthily, and improving the community? Nothing but my own indolence. But if we can elect a government that recognizes and articulates the new-found possibilities of our age...if we can elect a president who yay! was a (one)time poet himself, I predict a new age of cultural flowering, scientific invention, and economic prosperity.


Did I mention I was an Obamaniac? :)

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