CamPAIN 2008 — the future vs. the past

watched obama’s speech yesterday.  here it is, if you haven’t seen it yet:

watching this not only makes me an obsessed obama groupie (he does seem to have that effect), and go out and buy some obama stuff on his website, but also makes me realize that this election is huge.  it’s not even about the issues.  it’s about the future vs. the past.  obama is a politician who i believe can really lead this country into the 21st century, and as a techno-geek, i’ve seen lots of pie-in-the-sky solutions for a variety of environmental and economic problems.  but what all of those plans need is someone who is willing to take a risk and shake things up.

d00d.  mccain is not that person.

i think obama could be.

i was just reading a wired article about electric cars — yes they’re back.  and the program is being developed by someone with a realistic plan to get us off oil.  meanwhile, i’m watching obama talk about getting america off our oil addiction and i’m thinking, this could be the guy that gets the ball rolling.  and i want, want, want a f’ing electric car!

and i thought it was a key moment when he brought up all the hot topics that everyone debates about, abortion, gay marriage, and says, look, we might not agree on these things, but we can at least come to some middle ground downplaying those issues because that’s not what this election is going to be about.  it’s not.  it’s about the future, and someone who can lead us there, and the past, and someone who will continue what reagan, bush #1 and bush #2 left off.  personally, i’m ready for the economy to not suck anymore.  i’m ready for new renewable energy.  i’m ready to live in a country that i am proud to live in, and not feel embarrassed about if and when i’m abroad.  (“yes, i’m american, but i think our president is a douche, too”)  a lot of politicians talk the talk, but few actually make me believe.

Mike Doughty talked in his blog about this being the first time he’s been politically excited about something rather than against something.  seriously, obama has the commanding presence of malcom x, he’s just, you know, not as angry.  and i was really digging kucinich, even though i knew he had no chance.  with obama, it’s like, the little issues don’t matter as much, because that’s not what he’s going for.  and since high school (when i declared myself an anarchist), i have been firm that the only way to fix the system is massive, radical change.  hell, that was why i voted green instead of gore.  it wasn’t that i didn’t want gore in the white house — i did, and i honestly thought dubbya had no chance of winning…which, you know, he didn’t.  it was that i wanted there to be a third option.  it was that democrats and republicans were two sides of the same worn out coin and neither represented me.  that’s what has made the myspace generation apathetic about politics.  how can you get excited about anything when it’s the same old stuff?  repetition isn’t exciting, not even when it’s techno — what’s exciting is when something gets thrown into the mix that’s different (this applies to the techno metaphor, too, and gee i’m just throwing around metaphors today, aren’t i?).

i feel like i need to be a much more active supporter of obama, which is kind of weird to me.  i feel like i need to tell everyone i see about him and make them part of the obsession too.  i don’t want this to be like the 2k election again, where no one really believes the crappy candidate really has a chance of winning and then he does by stealing florida.  even when mccain’s running mate looks like a blatant grasp at straws, i feel like it’s too dangerous to feel comfortable, because the alternative is another 4-8 years of destroying the environment, drilling holes in alaska, pumping more CO2 into the air and making the cities unlivable.  more economic depression and cold war-era “trickle-down” theory.  as much as i agree with the sentiment, i don’t want the bumper stickers that say “dissent is patriotic” to define my political views and outlook on the country.  we need someone to shake up the system and lead us into the technological future because otherwise, we need to get moving on our martian colonization program because this planet isn’t going to hold up for another generation of pillaging.  i’m ready to move into the future, not the Terminator future, or the Battlestar Galactica or the Matrix dystopic future of creating artificial life that proves its’ superiority and attempts to wipe out humanity for being inefficient, but the future where, you know, we still have ozone.  where the water is still blue and falls from the sky.  where there’s still animals.

there’s an episode in BSG where they’re crashed on Kobol.  Chief Tyrol is sitting by one of his knuckledraggers’ side as he’s sputtering blood and probably isn’t going to make it, and Tyrol says “How’re you doing?”  “Just listening to the birds,” he says.  Tyrol looks up for a second and notices the sound.  and the look is like “wow, I never thought I’d see the day when…”  and it’s terrifying how realistic that alternate reality is — that we could live in a world that has been without animal life for so long we’ve completely taken it for granted.  where we don’t even know to miss the sound of birds in the trees.

i feel like there’s a real momentum toward real revolutionary change and it’s an exciting time.  but i feel like we need to hop on the bandwagon because if we miss the window, it might never happen.  so i’m voting for obama.  you should too.

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