Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Hope and Responsibility

President Barack Obama. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? It seems like it took a lot of work to get to this point and that we should be happy with the result. But we can't be.

Our hopes may or may not be fulfilled with an Obama administration. They surely were dashed with a Bush Administration.

George Bush may have been driving the bus that went off the cliff, but we all had a role. Some of us may have egged him on to drive faster (Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle), saying that the chasm wasn't so deep or wide. Others said there need not be a speed limit -- the free market will save us should we fall off the cliff (Enron, CA energy deregulation, Phil Gramm). A few of us just rewrote history to indicate we never drove off the cliff (Drudge, Bill Kristol, FOX News). But the worst offenders are the people that just sat there, listened to the others without asking questions, or believed that the driver was appointed by God and could do no wrong.

No one person can ruin a country. And no one person can save it. Obama may be the embodiment of our hope but it will not be by him that our world changes. It will be through us. If you want something to change, do it yourself. If something is broken, don't gripe about it -- do something to fix it.

I'm not saying that hope and symbolism are not important or effective. They are. But if they are not followed up with action, they are meaningless. Obama has rightly given us hope. Now let's see what he does with it. Now let's see what WE do with it.

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." -- Albert Einstein


CyberKitten said...

Its a hopeful time. It's going to be one heck of an uphill struggle - but at least you've got the right guy in the drivers seat this time!

Laura said...

Exactly. I think the problem is that too many people see institutions (government, schools, the market) as stand-alone, obscure entities rather than constructions of society. You want to change our educational failures - don't bang your head against the wall about Washington - start local. Run for school board. Join the PTA.

Tired of government waste - don't grip about Washington - run for a local office or volunteer for a local official you support.

Too often people miss the small things they can do while focusing on the huge tasks at hand...

greatwhitebear said...

I am both hopeful and fearful. I blogged about my range of emotions.


shrimplate said...

The work should at least be a little easier now that we have reality-oriented people in the Executive branch and sufficient support in Congress.

Locally is where we're screwed. Some Arizona legislators would completely abandon school spending if it were solely up to them.

SOS= Support Our Schools.

dbackdad said...

CK - Agreed.

Laura - And I think Obama is really pushing that message also. Bush never really asked anyone to sacrifice or conserve, even in times of war.

GWB - Good post. I'm going to have to update my links to your MySpace blog.

SP - We are totally screwed locally. At least in Illinois, they will always plug in a Dem to replace what they lose (Blago). We have Brewer instead of Napolitano now and a Repub stacked legislature with neanderthals like Russell Pearce. Education is definitely going to take the biggest hit.

I guess the only bright side is that Brewer has only about a year and a half to screw everything up.