Friday, January 4, 2008

Iowa!

I am a democracy nerd, and that being the case, I woke up this morning like I used to on Christmas morning, when I couldn't wait to see what was waiting for me under the tree.

I was very happy once I got the wrapping off.

Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee won the votes of their respective parties in Iowa. Huckabee winning in spite of the best efforts of those in talk radio to take him out, and Barack Obama--seabiscuit-like--snatched himself a sizeable victory from the claws of the pre-ordained and ever grasping Hillary-Machine.

I don't want Mike Huckabee to win this thing, and I don't think he will, but his victory illustrates that when it all comes down, the regular person listening to Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck on their way to or from work isn't as big a tool or a sheep as they have often been painted.

The people want something new. This is something ingrained in the American spirit. You can dismiss it as 'identity politics' or whatever you want, but democracy is the best tool for social evolution, and this is where we are going.

The American people are a pretty easy-going bunch. Machete sales do not go up here, as they did in Kenya, because the people are unsatisfied with their current political situation. We know that if things get too bad, we can just throw the bums out. And we do from time to time. There is no entitlement in American politics, and the Iowa caucus--however questionable an indicator of ultimate outcome it may be--indicates this.

I am excited for our future. It is a common thing for people to think that things are getting worse. The sensationalist media bombards us with cultural stereotypes and worse-case-scenarios. Life events can knock the wind out of a person. It's easy to become cynical.

In the end however, such cynicism is unfounded. Science is progressing unhindered these days. Wonders and advancements show up all the time. Pluralism, at least in this country, is fast becoming the accepted norm. People live longer now, and have so much more opportunity to pursue happiness, and court potential failure on their own terms. Surely it's no utopia, but I'm glad I am alive when I am, and I can't think of any better seat in the house than right here in the heart of a working and flourishing example of what mankind can acheive when given the autonomy to choose for themselves.

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