Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Friday, December 06, 2013

The End of the Reagan Era and the Beginning of the Obama Era

I thought this was a rather lovely coda to a longer post from BooMan:
While young Barack Obama was embracing Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, Bill de Blasio was embracing the Sandinista movement in Nicaragua. In the circles I grew up in, neither position was uncommon or particularly controversial. But in Ronald Reagan's American, where he carried 49 states in 1984, including even Hawai'i, it was too much to hope that 30 years later one would be president and the other the mayor of New York City. In a way, it is a triumph of progressive thinking that signals to me that we, as a country, have finally moved on from Era of Reagan.
Reagan famously declared that "government isn't the solution to our problems, government is the problem," and last night I heard an interview in which Obama said again something I have heard him say before: "Government is us." 1983 was the year I graduated from high school and began college. Movement Republican anti-governmentality deregulation and looting driven by white racist resentments and patriarchal fears has driven public life in America the whole thirty years I have been politically active and aware. I don't think it is too much to hope that with the passing of the Reagan Era and the emergence of the Obama era citizens can work together to make a more sustainable, equitable, consensual, diverse country and world, I don't think it is too late yet to save the world and ourselves from ourselves through the democratic governance of ourselves.


Esebian said...

No offense, but I think the left's collective spirit of optimism is naive at best.

We've experienced the oughties to be a Dark Age marked by a grave global swing to the right that transformed (or cemented) the so-called "first world" into police states possessing the necessary tools to silence any opposition through frame jobs constructed from nearly all their personal information courtesy of the wonder of the digital society.

The worldwide plutocratic elites have the means to perpetuate their rule over human civilization for the indeterminate future.

The rich get richer, the poor poorer, and there's nothing the man in the street can do to meaningfully change the greater picture.

Dale Carrico said...

No offense taken, and as a reader of this blog you know you're not saying anything I don't know already. Nevertheless, however much we know we always know there is more going on than we know. Among other things, this means we can never know enough to despair. A change has happened, change has happened, change can happen. This isn't optimism, it's a factual observation.