It now looks certain that Barack Obama will be elected the next President of the united States. After decades of yokel ignorance in the White House, we will now have an intelligent, capable and moderately progressive President.
This will not be enough. Climate change is descending fast upon the Earth, with Peak Oil in one hand and economic collapse in the other. If the human species is to remain extant, a prospect I don't necessarily endorse, President Obama must usher deep, basic and substantive change into the workings of the united States government.
War? Forget about it. Accomplishes nothing, uses up vital natural resources and lays waste to the natural world. It's time to grow up as a society and put away our childish toys. Invite our military men and women back to the united States and put them to work in the green economy. Transform the military-industrial complex into the environmental restoration complex. Stop selling weapons all over the world and start distributing tools and skills to build and maintain appropriate levels of technology in countries that have been decimated by colonial exploitation.
"The" economy? No such thing. Global free-market capitalism is officially dead and kicking up it's massive feet around the world. Build a green economy based on production for use in local economies, local consumption, local egalitarian control. Put the people to work, all of the people, including those now wasting their lives in jails across the country. Create thousands of new green jobs cleaning up the mess left by corporations, growing food in local gardens and farms, building and installing local solar and wind energy systems. Get CEOs out of their suits and into their jeans to do some productive work for a change and to free their bloated salaries for those who do the real work.
No real change has ever been accomplished by politicians and government bureaucrats unless they were forced to change by a massive popular uprising. Barack Obama knows the challenges of the future and is intelligent enough to listen and learn from the people. We have an opportunity, as the Obama Administration is being formed, to provide direction and inspiration to move the united States government in the direction the people are already moving.
This will not be an easy task, as the fundamentalist fringe will not melt away into the night when President Obama takes over the White House. Even with a majority in both Houses of Congress, opposition to substantive and meaningful change will be huge and effective. We must not allow a repeat of President Carter's neutralization by the rampant right.
This will take massive organization, in every form available: national organizations, community meetings, regional committees, blogs, Face Book, letter writing campaigns to all our "representatives" and like-minded people running for public office. The leadership must come from the people, because our "leaders" will take us in a direction we are not prepared to go.
The election is almost over. It's time to practice democracy!