If Not Now, When?
Real change almost always comes in the face of crisis. So if you believe that Global Warming is real and that sometime soon will have to be confronted in a big way ... and if you believe that our reliance on oil is not only an environmental threat but a threat to our economic security and national security as well ... and if you believe that we need to start manufacturing things that people in other countries want to buy, when else do you expect real change to come on these issues -- a real start on the big changes -- if not now?
It's a lot to expect early in an administration. But look through a couple centuries of our history and you'll see that there are just no examples of administrations that started small and did big things in year 2 or 4 or 6. That doesn't happen. Look at Roosevelt, Johnson, Reagan, presidents pack their biggest punch on day one. And even though many big things can happen in subsequent years, the presidencies are almost always defined at the beginning. Later triumphs and reforms grow from the changed political terrain created at the outset.
A lot I've written over the last few weeks that's been critical of what seems to me like a too little ambitious approach from Obama. But I base that on a belief that the current economic crisis is just the immediate hole we find ourselves in, perhaps the immediate manifestation of these other deep and critical challenges I noted above -- all tied to unsustainable reliance on fossil fuels, financialization of the US economy and decline of US manufacturing. I don't think we have much time to spare.
He's exactly right. Now is the time to make change. If Dem's do nothing about universal health care, energy independence, increasing the minimum wage (substantially), or to revamp education and curb outrageous executive pay now, when would we do it? When is the next time the stars will aline like this? Could be decades... I thought the plan was to throw "long and deep"?