One vision has been achieved. We have ousted the most horrific set of thugs, criminals and liars that ever inhabited the White House and prevented their proxy and his doxie from occupying it.
I say we….because between the elections of 2006 and the election of 2008 there is no longer any doubt that the blogs, that the citizens who post on the blogs, were an undeniable influence on both elections. Particularly this one. We have ended one “world,” now it is time to create a new one.
We have power…with power comes responsibility.
Our first responsibility is to use our power wisely. And, effectively. That means (to the extent possible with herds of cats/bloggers) settling on some form of broad agenda. Having some purpose in mind. Agreeing, in the broad strokes necessary to be inclusive and thus effective, on what we want to accomplish and then working together to accomplish it.
In other words, having a shared vision and working to achieve it.
We are, at least to some extent, newly directionless. One mission achieved, one vision achieved…and hundreds of thousands if not millions of bloggers waiting for a new mission, a new vision. A percentage of those (it remains to be seen what percentage) will just fall in behind Obama, which is by no means a bad thing. We can certainly all agree on what he has stated are his three main points of emphasis: Getting out of Iraq, health care, and Climate Crisis. Obviously the economy is now on that list. I would add disinfecting the government, the DOJ for example simply MUST be cleaned out of the politicized vermin that have come to inhabit it, and there simply must be some accountability to do so. Or we will never get anywhere. So to SOME extent, our tasks are clear. How we achieve them however is far from clear. Do we just follow Obama’s lead blindly? Of course not, that would not be responsible. HOW we achieve these things, and as Prop 8 points out, the many other things that we need to achieve is now as much of a question, if not more so, as we currently inhabit a ‘target rich’ environment for things that need changing, as what we want to achieve.
We have shown that we have influence. Can the blogsphere now show leadership?
Legions of bloggers wait now, still somewhat stunned from victory, for leadership, for at least a vague direction. You can feel it. The energy is still high, but with 75 days left before Obama takes power, it really has no where to go. This is potentially THE time to come together. To prepare, to forge bonds and coalitions. To either start projects, or to join in the projects of others. Or both! From now until the inauguration Obama will be formulating and setting his policies. If you have an issue that you are passionate about, now is the time to start pushing it and attracting others to help. If you yell loudly enough you could influence those policies as they are being formed.
NLinStPaul wrote a great piece on the leadership of the Obama campaign in community organizing, and on developing new leaders. We have the people, we have the tool, the internet, we have the energy….what do we do with it?
The answer to that question will largely shape the blogosphere from here out.
For me, and others I hope, the main thing I think we can accomplish between now and the inauguration is to use the influence and power we have gained to push HARD for accountability. Putting loud, public pressure on Bush to not pardon his partners in crime is imperative. Even if we fail and he does issue blanket or individual pardons, at least he will be doing so under a spotlight. Or, to use a word that has been sorely missing for eight years, in the sunlight. That is something that Obama can’t do, politically speaking. So it is up to us to do it. To reestablish the concept of accountability for those who wish to lead us, we must to some extent lead them.
There are some things that politicians just can’t do…like holding themselves accountable. Or cutting off their money machine by pushing for public financing and election reform. There has to be pressure to reform from outside. That is where We The People, and now, We The Bloggers come in! And the best place to start is cleaning up the past, so we can move on to the future. From there, the blogosphere needs to formulate and push it’s own solutions and positions, when we disagree with Obama and (sigh) the Democratic Congress. As well as and as part of keeping pressure on our government to not slip into it’s old, bad, destructive habits.
Obama has said repeatedly that he wants out input and our involvement, let’s make sure we give it to him in unmistakable terms. And let’s make sure we let him know, unmistakably, when we think he is moving in the wrong direction.
BUT! Let us also make sure that we do not become just followers! Let’s flex this new found power to LEAD as well. That doesn’t mean just waiting for the established leaders of the blogosphere to tell us what to do either! As much as I admire what they have done, it does NOT mean that they will be suited for the new task that faces the blogsphere, a blogosphere that is now no longer just a ragtag band of basement dwelling rebels opposing the established order, but a blogsphere that can and must establish a new identity as leaders in creating a new world, not just opposing the old one.