With Obama poised Janus-like at the cross roads of American history, liberals await smoke signals. Will we finally have an agenda where a government of, for, or about the people won't be slandered as socialist, but recognized as insuring domestic tranquility and promoting the general welfare?
Or, will the tacitly accepted branding of the centrist Barack Obama as a liberal lead to a new rightward shift in the "Stereotype" of liberalism like Clinton's election did? Giving the nod to Rahm Emanuel and Clinton –era John Podesta suggest that Obama will in some ways be a continuation of business as usual. It could be a way to right shift what the left looks like.
Either way, the world has shifted:
1) You can't win by appealing to your base. It was a lesson in this election that kept multiple Obama supporters muzzled while McCain's crowd bit the hand that fed them. Actual liberals kept their mouths shut to let Obama cajole the mainstream crowd. Meanwhile the McCain-Palin traveling tent revival and side show threw red meat and hoked it up for the god and country crowd. Grand Old Partyers may have had themselves a fine old time, but watching footage of it scared the piss out of the rest of us.
2) If you throw enough crap around, a bunch of it sticks … to you. And after hearing them a thousand times, really, "yes we can" is a lot more appealing 3 word summation of a world view than, "Other Guy Sucks."
3) Your cousin Adolph can come out of hiding now. Sticks and stone will still break our bones, but names sure aren't hurting us anymore if anyone with any name named Hussein can wind up being the president.
4) Republicans can't add. McCain aped the elephant line about not wanting to waste government spending on anything as frivolous as, say, services, except for the armed ones, of course. Then in the guise of saving money, McCain supported the Bush's outsourcing model that meant hiring companies like Halliburton and Black Water to first screw us over with cost plus contracts, then stand around and not do government work, as if they could not do their jobs any better than real government workers already don't do their jobs. Paying for corporate profits on top of the cost of poorly getting your business done is not a way to save money.
5) John McCain doesn't know what good representation is. As an AZ resident these last eight years, I have been continually amazed at Mr. Anti-Earmark's gall to suggest that not working to steer government spending back to the home folks is counts as good representation. McCain bragged about his record of having secured NO special projects for AZ. Gee thanks, John. Earmark spending is called pork barrel because that is the sign of the man we sent to Washington bringing home the bacon.
6) Take a flippin' e-mail, dude, People of the 21st century are not impressed you stopped being tech savvy when 8 tracks ruled.
7) Bitchiness is still ugly even in $150, 000 worth of business suits. And if that kind of behavior is what passes for Christianity these days, it is small wonder fire and brimstone leave such a bad taste in so many people's mouth.
8) Old War Heroes may never die, but that doesn't mean we want to hear about it for the rest of our lives.
9) If you don't like big government, quit. Come on McCain, everybody knows the US Gov. is the largest employer in the world and it needs to stay that way. Arguing that under your leadership you would shrink government translates out to saying that you are just as ruthless as any other selfish CEO who thinks nothing of laying off thousands of workers in favor of a bottom line.
10) Cities are where the people are. In urban counties across America Obama routinely snagged as much as 80% of the vote—Phoenix and Forth Worth being typical of the exceptions. Even in the reddest of states, cities went blue and when it comes down to it doesn't matter how much land you have, dirt don't vote.
11) In the end it didn't matter who all the right and the media tried to tie to Obama's coattails, the scariest affiliation remained being too closely associated with the world's leading terrorist: George Bush.
--mikel weisser writes from the Left Coast of Arizona.