Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2004 - Politics (Seeds of Change)

The first presidential election I watched as an adult was a crazy time in America. You had waves of protest music and it was then that I realized as a country we were turning against George Bush for good and his policies. Like I said a few posts ago, "American Idiot" was the soundtrack of that year and people were waking up - myself included - to a B.S. war in Iraq that felt futile even then.

Anyways, the election was probably one of the most galvanizing events of my lifetime and probably one of the most charged since the 1960's but from it we saw some interesting things.

The 2004 DNC introduced us to a Senator candidate from Illinois with an African name and an idealistic attitude. A stirring speech about coming together under one name - American, not broken down by party affiliation. A message of upholding the country to its ideals and an audacity of hope. It's a shame I missed it because of Youth Group - although I did see Bill Clinton's stirring speech the night before.

By the way, that Barack Obama guy turned out pretty well. The shine from that night I think is still shining somewhat right? I remember writing a blog on Myspace in 2006 saying it was foolish to rush him to the Presidency so soon but he was easily the biggest political rookie to make an impact since Bill Clinton. I was shocked then and I am now.

Crazy enough, John Edwards to me was ill-suited to be Vice-President. He should've been the Presidential candidate - a young, energetic man who believed in the cause of the working poor and the declining middle class. He was way better than John Kerry IMO - but thank God he didn't win the nomination because he screwed himself over with his infidelity becoming public four years later.

The mind-boggling thing to me about it all was how George Bush earned re-election by a fairly comfortable margin. I remember talking to peeps on Instant Messenger and them being nervous that night - especially my sister on the East Coast. I still can't believe he won the popular vote and I think we were nervous about what would happen next.

Alas, he won and we all know what happened next - the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, his Cabinet abandoning ship, and eventually the near-crash of the American economy as we plunged into a recession.

But 2004 was politically an interesting year mainly because it was the rise of Barack Obama as America mostly supported the reign of George Bush (at least percentage wise). And honestly, I think that's when I realized how divided our country was. I noticed coverage that was slanted in one way or the other and things became more polarizing than ever.

Maybe it was my coming of age to see how dirty and messy politics were. But even in the muck, something can at least temporarily unite people.


  1. Evan,
    I appreciate your use of the term "near-crash"... As much of todays media hype describes this recession a the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression... Note quite that bad but close enough for how comfortably Americans have been sitting for the past 10+ years. I was listening to a podcast of a talk show the other day that was from around the time of the election. In fact, I think it was aired/recored the day after President Obama was elected. The talkshow host was very surprised by the outcome of the election but he said something that I wish more Americans would cling to...

    Whether our president is an African-American president, a Japanese-American president, or a Caucasian-American president the only thing that should be important is that they be the President of the USA.. Bottom line. I am VERY excited to see what is in store for our current president.
    It is terrible how divided our stinkin' country is... Especially being a military dependent now, wife to a Pilot in the United States Air Force... Our families can't understand our position of neutrality... Or is it more that we're tolerant? Who knows... But I'm praying for patience and wise words this Christmas.... :-)

    One more thing... In my opinion, Al Sharpton doesn't have a soapbox to preach off of ... But correct me if I'm wrong!! :-)

    Much love Evan!

  2. Amen. Of course we have to understand that the first President who is not a White male is going to be groundbreaking (as it will whenever we have a female President) but at the end of the day, he is THE President.

    Working at my paper, I've seen a lot of butt-kissing from folks but I've also seen a lot of reasonable praise/criticism. If we get more of that in 2010, I'll be happy

    Divided we stand? I hope the holidays leave the politicking (sp?) behind and just focus on why we're here.

    And by the way, I'm not a big fan of Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson. They've done some good things but most times I hate when they show up in the picture.