Wednesday, September 23, 2009

1,000th Post

I don't think I'm big enough in the blogging world to engage in too much navel-gazing, but I think I can get away with it for this one post.

I started this blog back in June 2007, and despite some periods where I was on vacation/uninterested/tired of the idiots, I've mostly kept it up since then. The last two years have seen quite a bit of change in my life, outlook and my politics, and looking at my first post there's quite a bit that's either naive or embarrassing. I'd like to think that I've grown since then, but I did get one thing right: "That, in a nutshell, is why I'm supporting Barack Obama for President...He's our best chance, and things might actually change if he gets elected." Now he is the president, and while he's made mistakes both tactical and substantive I am more convinced than ever that he must succeed.

I started blogging because I just like doing it--I like reading blogs and commenting on them, and politics is an interesting field to me. I didn't realize to the extent that I do now just how high the stakes are at this moment in history, in which there are powerful fundamentalist forces that are trying their best to demolish every last bit of the enlightened, little-l liberal culture that America has modeled for her entire existence. Early on I realized that Clinton wasn't going to be able to win the battles that needed to be won, and I admittedly overestimated the extent to which her "polarization" was a personal phenomenon. But I do think that there is still hope for America, and I still think that Obama is the right leader for the times, even though it's clear he still has some learning to do. He's still the best shot for us liberals to take back our country and our government, and he simply must succeed, because the alternative is a barbarous group of dogmatists who make the Inquisition look high-minded by comparison. This does not describe all conservatives, of course, but these days it seems to describe most, and they cannot be successful. As in, they must not be allowed to succeed.

In general, though, I feel like victory is more within our grasp. Healthcare is the first step--getting insurance to tens of millions who don't have it, especially the poor who don't vote because they don't feel like anybody cares for them--will be a watershed for the country and the party. Fixing higher education costs so that everyone can go to college will be another way people will see a real impact in their lives. We can talk about 2010 or 2012 or whatever, but in the long run, people remember who helps them, and they are frequently appreciative. Roosevelt's coalition was made from people who saw the change in their lives between Hoover and F.D.R., and even though he didn't win all his battles old Franklin left the country a permanently changed place. With healthcare, with education, and with immigration, there is a real possibility of changing the game and banishing wingnuttery for good.

Despite all the reasons to be afraid these days, I find myself more hopeful of our success in the long run. That's all, and I really hope I'm right about this.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.