Oct 27, 2014

Ten Years of Liberal Citizen Blogging

Ten years ago, I was working for the Kerry campaign in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the battleground state, and all the calculations came down to winning this state would mean winning the presidency for either candidate. We know what happened.... another 4 years of Dubya. I still feel the disappointment of the night of the election, being behind in the numbers game and by dawn it was all over.

Ten years ago, I started this blog, when blogging was in its infancy. Many of us back then blogged under a nickname--I was Andros. Many of those pioneers who continue today have kept their nickname--Atrios, Kos, Digby, etc. It's been quite a trip, I have to admit. Lately, I was remiss in posting, due to a variety of circumstances, but I do want to continue for as long as I have interest in politics.

I remember saying, back then, that there would be an escalating clash between modernity and conservatism, between science and religion, and I hoped that progress would prevail. In some ways we've progressed in this time frame. I wouldn't have imagined electing a black man president, or same-sex marriage, and health care reform all within in a decade.

Unfortunately, the Republican party has moved even further to the conservative side, catering to the tea party and other wingnuts, and the electorate is about to reward the GOP for its obstruction in Congress. It's really amazing that the Republican party platform on most major issues is so extreme and is not supported by the majority of the American people, yet the Repubs will most likely retain control of the House and probably capture the Senate as well.

If it weren't for the 6 year terms Senators are elected for, I'd say let the GOP control the whole Congress to see what more of a disaster they could bring us. The most important power the president may have--on everyday politics--is the power to convince. Leadership depends on style, not only ideas and academic discussions. We progressives voted for Obama twice, and we are very happy that he beat McCain and Romney. However, Mr. Obama has also been a huge disappointment, because of the lack of leadership. He is not a very engaged president. He's articulate but he isn't a hands-on leader.

Perhaps--not holding my breath--Obama will feel liberated after these midterm elections and really push for sensible policies in his last remaining two years. Why not? He's got nothing to lose except shrinking approval ratings. I hope he will not leave as a defeated, faded leader like his predecessor. There are lots of important issues he could focus on--like the environment/climate change, and immigration.

At any rate, politics is a reflection of a society and a means to get things done. The quality of politics, the quality of our democracy, our polity depends on the quality of the people involved. We'll keep watching, debating, keeping liberalism--our own American version--alive.

A big thank you to all the readers of this blog over the years. Some time ago, I disabled the comments section as too many trolls visited and I didn't have the time to edit, delete, or reply. I know that many blogs allow them as a way to keep higher traffic numbers; I'm not concerned about numbers these days, but I miss the discussion of the early days, so I'll enable the comments option again and see what happens.

Thank you for the company dear fellow liberal citizens.