So I’m sitting in seat 16D heading to Milwaukee from Boston. I don’t know how I got onto this mental tangent, but I thought of a great idea for a blog post and seeing as I’m not picking up any Wi-Fi up here, I can’t surf the internet aimlessly anyway. Pretty much the only thing I can do is word process. So here it goes:
The 2008 Presidential election can essentially be boiled down to this: Stephen Curry drains threes from the outside, drives hard to the hole, and can’t be stopped by anything short of a full court triple-team en route to leading Davidson on an unexpectedly deep NCAA tourney run. The New York Yankees put together an absolute dream team that can’t be beat on paper, only to collapse due to external distractions, infighting, and a general lack of chemistry. Brett Favre, the aging gunslinger, comes back to the NFL, albeit wearing a darker hue of green and playing a much more conservative, conventional game. In a surprise move, Favre’s Jet’s acquire Terrell Owens who insists that the Jets buy him a newer, nicer helmet and throw in some retro jerseys. Although football fans everywhere follow the Owens saga with rapt attention, few would have him actually playing for their team.
OK, that last story may have been completely untrue, but who knows, maybe next year. The similarities between the sagas of our politicians and our sports teams are eerie. For every story about A-Rod and Madonna affairs, we can get one about Eliot Spitzer or John Edwards. I could go to espn.com and read Todd McShay’s analysis of the 2010 NFL draft class, or I could read Nate Silver’s amazing number-based political analyses of the 2010 midterms on fivethirtyeight.com. I can put together the ultimate fantasy football team, although drafting Tom Brady would have killed me this year, or I could enter my speculations on cabinet posts on washingtonpost.com.
As much as we overanalyze Ocho Cinco Johnson’s body language on the sideline after two consecutive possessions without a pass thrown his way, we overanalyze the body language of Barack Obama towards John McCain on the Senate floor. The only thing more complicated than the Bowl Championship Series formula is the Democratic National Committee’s method of appropriating convention delegates and the notion of the superdelegate in general. In 2016, when the Democratic Party Nominating Tournament adds a play in game, it will have as many candidates as the NCAA Tournament has teams. I’ve got Bucknell pulling off a huge upset in their first round match-up against Hillary Clinton, becoming the first sixteen seed to take down a number one.
A preferred criticism of our modern democracy is that the two party system polarizes the country, dividing Republicans against Democrats and helps to create an artificial horserace effect. If that’s true, is it even such a bad thing? This year’s election boasted some of the juiciest story lines and irrelevant stories in recent memory. John King’s magic board illustrated and magnified the horserace effect like never before. And yet we saw the highest turnout in a Presidential election since 1968.
OK. They just told me to stow all my electronic devices, so I’m just going to cut it off here. I think I’ve said enough. I’ll post this when I get home. In fact, if you’re reading this right now and are in the greater Milwaukee area, give me a call because I have arrived back at my house. Out.
So I was soooooo close to making a new video post. But for some reason it wouldn't load into the blog post thing, so no movie. A truly sad day for humanity.
I figured I could at least put up an update to say there is no update since I haven't actually posted in almost a month.
School has been pretty good. Making a big push towards finals and then I'm home free for a month of winter break. I am definitely looking forward to that. It'll be like Thanksgiving, except a long enough break to allow me to see people and catch up on my sleep.
Anyway, not much else to report on. Except the continuing disappointment of movies in blogs made by me.
Well, I'm up studying for my Econ test, but not surprisingly, I still can't get my mind off of Tuesday night.
Millions of Americans rose up and, for dozens of reasons, elected to take our country in an entirely new direction. Some voted to change the status quo of our politics, some voted to elect a voice for the middle class, others still voted to end American involvement in Iraq. There are certainly many more reasons that voters went in favor of Senator Obama, but on Tuesday night, after the results were in, there was a national catharsis for many in the diverse coalition that carried him to victory. I've heard and read about a massive gathering into the thousands in Madison that took to the streets to let out their joy over the victory. In Grant Park in Chicago, CNN showed over 200,000 people wildly celebrating the triumph. Here at Tufts, I sat on top of the President's Lawn soaking it all in as I watched a mob of about a thousand people gather and rush to President Bacow's house chanting "OBAMA" and "YES WE CAN" and loudly singing the national anthem and "We Shall Overcome." All of these celebrations were certainly called for. For years, the ideals that Barack represents have been coveted by a growing minority. For years, the minority has steadily grown while seeing its ideals fall flat on the national stage to the forces of the status quo. And now, this year, that growing minority has emerged to become the "new American majority" that Barack spoke of in New Hampshire. After years of struggle, finally a victory. No wonder thousands gathered in front of the White House to celebrate last night. Most of these manifestations came from colleges. The college generation has been written off for years as too lazy or apathetic to make change collectively. But it was the young who first accepted Barack's vision of a new American majority. It was the young who first embraced the idea that they could make the change they seek. Inspired by his vision, young people vaulted Barack's candidacy first into political viability, then victory. I think that last night, young people across America realized their potential to create political change.
Barack Obama has been elected President. But now the real work must begin. We have the ability to elect a President, to create change electorally. But it is time for this political awakening of the college generation to expand beyond influencing the election of our leaders. It is time for us to begin driving policies that will alter the world our children and grandchildren live in. The events of now will shape the electoral map when one of us is a young Senator or Governor running for President as the voice of our generation. Now, our generation must step up and begin creating change that runs deeper than electing a new President. We need to develop a viable plan to secure our energy security. We need to fight to revitalize our education system as it is the key to cultivating future generations. As we call for America to be a land of tolerance and justice for all, as many point to our unyielding quest for equality as evidenced by the election of an African American President, our generation needs to lead the call to reject a definition of civil rights that stops at equal rights for all races and recognize that all Americans, regardless of creed, race, or sexuality are afforded the same unalienable rights, for that will be the great civil rights fight that our generation is remembered for.
Yesterday, this generation saw the power that it holds. During this campaign, we wielded that power, putting our candidate in the White House. But we have much more work to do. Now is the time for us to start to realize that in ten years or 5 years or 2 years or tomorrow, the world is going to be ours to run. We must commit ourselves to continuing to fulfill the vision that we imagined when we embraced Barack Obama. This generation has seen the power that political involvement can bring. We must not relinquish it. This must not be the only night we dance in the streets.
I'm not really sure what to think. It's been an amazing day, and yet the events of today are only beginning to sink in.I mean, I've known for a couple of weeks now that he would win. And I've felt it for almost a year. When Wolf Blitzer told me that California would go to Obama and that its electoral votes would put him over the top, everyone knew it was coming. There was no great cathartic moment right there. Barack gave a great speech. Watching him speak, it began to dawn on me. I thought of all the people I know that have been touched by this election. I thought of all the ways this election have touched me, like Raymond at the polls today in South Boston. I was standing outside the polling location, ready to exit poll people who had just voted. An elderly black man wearing his Sunday best walked up to me, shook my hand, and introduced himself as Raymond. He said that he had never voted before, but that he was here now to vote for Barack Obama, but he didn't know where to go. Unfortunately, I had to be completely non-partisan as an exit pollster so I could do nothing more than direct Raymond to a poll worker, but I still heard his story, the latest example of what Barack Obama inspired in this election. After the victory speech, I thought of Raymond, who was inspired to have his voice heard for the first time. I thought of Tyler and everyone else I know in the campaign who have almost literally given their entire lives to the cause. I thought of people like my grandfather and others like him, the unlikely democrats who were able to see the urgency a call for unity and hope and change in our politics. All of this made me think that Barack Obama really should win the election, because he's the good guy, but the good guys never win. Then I realized that he had won. Thats when I broke down. It is certainly not the first time in our history that a politics of idealism had triumphed over a politics of divisiveness, but it was certainly the first time in my memory that it had. For the first time in my life, my belief that we could be a nation of ideals was vindicated. Because this time, I wasn't in the minority. "Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change."
Well, as I kind of expected, I cannot sleep at all right now. I have to work at an exit poll tomorrow in South Boston for my PoliSci class and I need to be there by 9am, but I still can't sleep. The Presidential election is tomorrow. Is there anyone out there who slept easily tonight? Or didn't even think about it while they were trying to sleep tonight? Give me a ring if you're up. I'll be watching CNN or something.
.........then I don't know what was. No, I'm not talking about the "Closing Argument Speech" that Barack gave today. That was good. It was really good. I haven't been able to find the full video of the speech online yet, but there's some good sized chunks out there, and the full text of the speech. It brought me back to the early primary. Barack broke out the same rhetoric that made me believe almost a year ago. But that wasn't the nail in the coffin.
At the very end of the speech, after he was done speaking, I heard something. A sweet melody that took me way back. Back to the best reason I ever had to skip school. Back to Waukesha in February. (Does anybody remember those kids from Waukesha sitting in front of us who said "OK, enough with the Bush bashing."? Those kids were nuts!) Back to loading up the Honda Odyssey as full as it gets with friends, spelling out "YES WE CAN" on our shirts. And yes, blasting the song that captured the campaign. Over and over and over and over again.
I can't remember the last time I heard it. I remember my distinct disappointment in February because he didn't play it then. That was the beginning of the issue driven phase of the campaign. But with the high flying rhetoric, it has returned. A fitting signal. That's right. Barack played "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" after his closing argument speech today. Wow. I LOVE that song.
It turns out that putting movies on the internet isn't that easy. So after a short-lived career as a vblogger, I have relegated myself to being a simple blogger. That's right, I'm going to write my posts out now. This is a sad day for mankind.
So. This is way harder to do than talking at my computer, but I'll see what I can do. What's good in Boston lately? Well, everyone's going nuts cause the Red Sox are once again going deep into the playoffs. Before I came out here, I told everyone that I was totally going to jump on the bandwagon for all the Boston sports teams. Once I got here, I realized that I don't like any of the Boston sports teams. And plus, how could I root against the Rays in the ALCS? I mean, how could anyone root against the Rays with a clean conscience unless they were a legitimate Red Sox fan? They're the Rays! They used to be the Devil Rays. Yes. That team. And now they've built they're franchise the right way, bottom up through the farm system by making smart moves in the draft. I think it's awesome that the Rays are showing the viability of player development in a league where teams increasingly become instant contenders through super free agent signings for ridiculous money. But enough baseball.
Lately, I've been getting sick of the Tufts party scene. I mean, when I got here, I went to a lot of frats and big house parties with 300 people in a basement because it was a huge novelty for me. We don't really roll that way in Shorewood. But after a month of going to the big parties, I began to wonder what the point of it all was. There's nothing particularly fun about being in a room so crowded you can't even move, let alone meet new people. And there's definitely nothing fun about being so packed in that when you get home, you can wring the sweat out of your shirt. I realized that I would much much rather hang out, Shwood style. Just chilling in Back Bay or at Atwater. The most enjoyable party experience I've had yet at Tufts happened on Sunday night. At about 2pm on Sunday afternoon, the entire campus lost power. I have no idea why. Around 7pm, public safety came around handing out flashlights and explained that there would be no power all night. Well, we had to entertain ourselves somehow. We just sat in my friends room in the utter pitch black. Most people's cell phones had run out of battery. Computers were dying. TV didn't even work. Dan picked up his guitar and started playing some sing alongs. His acoustic arrangements of "Sweetest Girl" "Hey Ya" and "Where is the Love" filled the room. It was chill. I got to know people better that night than I had going to frats with them for the last month and a half.
So I guess this is gonna be my blog. Mad props to Rory (is a jerk) Linnane for making this happen. You're probably wondering why I said "Vblog" in the title of the blog. It's because I am too lazy to write out my posts. I'm just going to do videos! Hence the V in front of blog. I hope this is the only written post. I'm planning on doing an introductory video post, but it's 4am and my roommate is sleeping. So anyhoo, I'm going to sleep right now, but somewhere, Rory Linnane is smiling.