Welcome to 1600 Pennsylvania, President Barack Obama. I may not have voted for you, but as John McCain said, you are my President. I am a Republican, but it does not do any good to say that someone is not your president. I thought the best speech I heard throughout the entire campaign was McCain’s concession speech where he said my former opponent will be my President. That is how I feel today. Unfortunately, for Republicans, McCain had given his best speech after the votes came in that Tuesday night.
Now, I know President Obama has said and offered a lot, but I am going to give him a chance to work at delivering on those words. He has earned that. And if he does not deliver, then I will be critical. Now is not the time for that. One day I hope what was said about Joe Louis, can be said for Barack Obama. New York Daily News columnist Jimmy Cannon once wrote, “Joe Louis is a credit to his race, the human race.”
I think when Lincoln was elected in 1860, no one knew how great he would be. He was a true unknown to those outside of Illinois. He ran as a third party candidate, from a party that would be called the Republican Party. While Obama is from the same state, Lincoln did not have the luxuries of the media constantly tooting his horn or butchering current President James Buchanan or butchering the vice-presidential candidate from the Know Nothing party.
This is a time for greatness. Not merely a time to talk about greatness. President Obama has been given a chance to lift the country up from its knees. It will difficult, but the prize at the end can be very rewarding. Today, I wish to discuss the Generation closest to me, those who were born in the 70’s and 80’s. This is the generation that President Obama will need to lead the country in the years to come.
The world has changed, our attention spans are far shorter than they used to be. A lot of that is do to the fact that there is so much in the world that can be distracting. It was not that long ago that our news came from the local TV channel, radio, newspapers and magazines. Now, with the Internet, many of those stories are old news. There used to be only 10 channels of TV, now there is are1,000 and counting. There were only a few radio stations, now thanks to satellite radio, there are hundreds. There is a magazine for just about anything these days.
Have you noticed how much smaller your magazines have become? And newspapers, forgettaboutit! You can’t even wrap Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in those! The Help Wanted section has to stretch to make a page in the papers, except on Sundays. The shrinkage is not due to less content, but less advertising. That is something that we have not experienced in this country for a very long time. This is the real scary part of the economy, less people are trying to sell you something. It will be very difficult to see how so many of them will survive. The magazines practically give away the subscriptions. For newspapers, I could see them cutting back to 3 or 5 days a week. For magazines, some will collapse and I can see many mergers of titles among the large publication companies.
I think in the newspaper realm, the advance of faster and more abundant Internet connections this was something you could see the losses coming. Especially, that is does not cost a penny to read your local paper online. Why would it behoove anyone to subscribe? If the bacon is given away, do you really want the rest of the pig?
This generation is the I, Me, My Generation. We have the iPod, the iPhone, MySpace, Youtube, Reality TV, and countless other items that are engineered for the attention of one. We update our HTML clipboardfacebook page 20 times a day, as if anyone truly gives a crap that right now, “Michael is taking a crap.” And best of all is, we can get all of this information, anywhere at any time. It is tough to tie us down for long periods of time. “The Greatest Generation” as Tom Brokaw calls them, got the bigger picture that it was about being part of something, and not being the something. So many of us want to rise to be chief, but unfortunately we forget that you need Indians that are willing to work as a team so that a leader and not chaos emerges. Many of the people in their 20’s and 30’s want to be Managers or Leaders, and not really satisfied with being on the road to Management or Leadership. We can be Indians, but we need to be shown that there is a path to being chief or at least something that is motivating us for a higher cause.
We are cynical and sarcastic, but for the most part we have good hearts. We enjoy watching TMZ, commenting on Deadspin, reading the latest on someone in Wikipedia. We do like seeing Britney getting fat, Terrell Owens crying, seeing who isn’t Jennifer Aniston now, human car accidents and what politician is now in hot water. We Google what we don’t know, and think it is knowledge, even though it is only information. We love our country just as much as “The Greatest Generation”, because where else could we say and laugh at such drivel. We just learned to laugh at it a little more.
President Bush is a good man, who just didn’t always come across on TV as the brightest light bulb in the room. He tried hard, he lowered our taxes, gave us two nice stimulus checks, dreamed for peace in the Middle East, wanted to give every child a chance, kept the hopes and our country safe for 8 years after 9/11, gave us unprecedented growth in the real estate market, low unemployment for six of his eight years, and was entertaining with some of the new vocabulary he brought to the world. Some of those things did not come true from his dreams, and a few of them backfired mightily. Unfortunately, when we needed him to be more serious, President Bush tried to be witty, and was terrible at it. See: Bushisms
President Obama, welcome to 1600 Pennsylvania. In terms of football, the head coach has been changed. While you are not inheriting the 0-16 Lions, right now we feel about anywhere from 1-15 to 4-12. No one expects you to be 16-0 next season. You will probably never be perfect. But maybe, with a little help and putting those words you like so much like Hope and Change into action we can go 9-7 and make a surprising run like this year’s Arizona Cardinals.
There is work to be done, and you can be that leader who comes across as knowledgeable on TV, but also strong when we really need you. Please work to be above the extreme bleeding heart liberals and ultra Jesus-loving conservatives.
One side note, if McCain had won; do you think MSNBC would have even televised the inauguration? Better yet, would the event even been put on their news ticker on the bottom of the screen? I know it certainly would not have made Keith Olbermann’s Countdown. The camera operator would have to reduce the zoom to 1:1000 in order for Keith’s tremendous noggin and ego to step aside. Congrats on the big contract Keith, but what are you and Chris Matthews going to talk about now? You can only blame the old coach so much, before the blame carries on to the new coach.