Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The President-Elect

Well, the astounding happened last night. In our lifetimes. Barak Obama was elected to be our 44th president. You all know that by now. But to be here, to feel a full measure of change in the air, is a wonderful thing. Senator McCain is a good man. I've liked his courage in several areas in the political arena. But we the people are in a very deep hole. The country, in totality, has gorged itself on the Third World and on our own poor for a long time. Fixing the financial problems the way we're trying can only be done by more gorging on the Third World. What we need is a fresh wind. What we need are not good fixes but entirely new ideas. We need fertile soil in which to plant the seeds of invention again. There are dozens of wonderful ideas and inventions that will serve our energy needs but without the encouragement to develop them on a commercial scale, those seeds will wither. We need new eyes to see things in ways we've not been seeing. We need to see the world as something other than our lunch box.
We need something completely different and we may have gotten that in a man who hasn't been around long enough to owe too many favors. I hope Obama is up to the task. I hope his rhetoric is backed by genuine vision. Not a specific vision for how to fix this or that area of our society--let's hope he surrounds himself with good people who can tend to those things. What we need from Obama is a vision of how the world might look 100 years from now, and we need that vision backed with the courage to take the first steps down that road toward a 100-year tomorrow.
I believe that many people feel that way, though they might articulate it differently. But I believe a larger purpose is needed now, a bigger picture of the world and our place in it, beyond our selves, beyond our house and car payments and our personal needs and wants. We need someone to draw back the curtain and say: "Look outside! Look at it all the way it could be if we had the courage to dream for others the way we dream for ourselves. Look at your unborn great great grandchildren and imagine them here in this world when we are long gone. This is the world we can give them."
Certainly, President-elect Obama is going to face monumental challenges when he takes office. There really are a number messes that are going to take a great deal of work and creativity to clean up.
But I think if he can inspire us, if he can get us off of our collective fannies and working at what needs fixing, then the work will happen and the fixing will get done. And if he can also articulate what kind of future we might choose for those unborn great great grandkids, then he will have awoken the fantastic beast that is the United States. And then we can collectively stride into the future.

2 comments:

The Grudge said...

I too sense the change in the wind. I hope it all turns out fruitful. This turn in history towards something completely new will hopefully bring a spring of fresh ideas and a step towards better days.

Also, take care Peter.

Jorge Luis Villacorta Santamato said...

Interesting.