Thursday, November 6, 2008

President Obama

This past weekend has been a blur. Some of my fellow students and I went to Las Vegas to help swing Nevada to Obama's side. We drove all day on Saturday; we worked on Sunday and Monday. I woke up at five on Election Day to put up door hangers, stayed up until one in the morning with the most energetic crowd I've ever seen, and woke up at five yesterday to fly back to California.

All the campaigning and partying, while fun, was on some level superficial. I got into some heated arguments with a junior in our group who seemed to be channeling Karl Marx, and into some more interesting arguments with other, more moderate fellow campaigners. For the most part, though, we focused on the very vague messages of "hope" and "change", and passed out policy fliers to the handful of people who wanted to know more. Nobody really asked the question of what America would become (or, now, will become) under an Obama presidency.

I've been looking for some good opinions. I thought that this article had an interesting take on it.

Like lots of what's been published since Election Day, it focuses pretty heavily on race. I'm more interested in what will happen to the economy. At least for the national debt, change seems like a good thing. Obama's tax plan has always bothered me, though.

Like most of us, I'll wait and see.

If there's one thing thats unambiguously good, it's that people care now. Lots of them who never voted before, voted this time. Students stopped ignoring politics. If you'd asked me just a few weeks ago, during New Student Orientation, what I thought about the next four years, I would have been gung-ho and pretty self-centered: Yes, Stanford will be fantastic. I'm still excited about the next four years, but like lots of other people I think about them in a broader way. What are we doing to help bring change?