Randy's Corner Deli Library

05 November 2008

The Day After

The Day After

Even though the stock market took another dump today, down 490 points, it didn't seem to faze me as much as other dumps that it has taken over the course of the last couple of months. Because, and forgive me if this is more liberal delusion, I feel like there is, might be, could be, a decent future for this country if President Obama can provide the kind of leadership that I know that he and his team are capable of.

As I've written in this space before, he is going to have a long time to be able to prove his mettle. This country is at present so screwed up financially and foreign policy-wise that Solomon himself would have trouble arriving at a solution that 300,000,000 people can live with and prosper under. Which is of course not to say it's impossible. Clearly it's not impossible. If it can be wrecked, it can be reconstructed, better than before. But not, as Einstein says, with the same level of awareness that created the problems themselves. There has to be, and is, a higher level of awareness that is going to come out of the Obama White House. It is what I am hoping from an Obama administration.

Yesterday evening, I commented to my son Mitchell that this election really wasn't about people like me, but was really about people like him - the teenagers and 20-somethings that are going to have to dig deep into their souls and come up with thoughtful, workable solutions for the problems that this country will face on an ongoing basis. And judging from the participation in the election of young people, they are chomping at the bit to make a difference, something that, frankly, my generation, which came of age in the 80s and 90s, did not have the chance to do, as we were all about making money and impressing the neighbors with our new cars and mansions, not with living within our means and spending what we could afford, as opposed to what we thought we'd make at some point in the future. Surely there is something to the notion that if the government is acting irresponsibly by spending more than it was taking in -- deficit spending - then it must, perforce be an acceptable way to live. Of course, that is completely a false notion but I think that there must be something to it anyway, because now, in the middle of the shitstorm that "voodoo economics" has wrought, we know what the answers are going to have to be: pay as you go, acting in a fiscally responsible way, saving money, not spending every dime you make and above all making sure that we all act responsibly otherwise. We are all colllectively paying right now for our collective irresponsibility, but let there be no doubt that we had some help in the development of our attitudes about "the way things are". It's not all able to be foisted off on external factors; we are all blessed and cursed with free will. But leadership, or a lack of it, on a national level, in my view, led us all down the road to ruin that we find ourselves too far down along right about now. And is the reason why, thank God, we got our collective acts together at the voting booth yesterday (with the notable exception of the hateful Proposition 8 here in California that passed, banning gay marriage) with the election of Barack Obama.

Positive change seems like a real possibility now that the news is not dominated by Sarah Palin, whose name I hope never to have to write again, or John McCain, who, I have to think at 72 years old, is thanking his lucky stars that he lost. Fixing this country is a young man's game. A young man with ideas and energy to make sure that we all do the right thing by each other and by our country.

Randy Shiner

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