about a month ago, i pondered the effect/affect that Barack Obama would have on the average ambitious young Black man as it relates to his relationship picks. i hoped that YBM would start looking for their own personal michelle's and stop defaulting to the brain dead eye candy. now it seems that the Obama has effect has spread to local politics in some interesting ways. how so?
well, during the election season, it was not uncommon for local, state and national politicians, both democrats and republicans, to co-opt the changey mchoperson message that made Obama so popular. and some of that was to be expected, right? during any presidential election year, the candidates down the ticket will often ride the coattails of the nominated commander-in-chief-to-be, in the hopes that all levels of government will reflect the values and ideals of the man on top.
but the thing i've found most interesting is that the Obama juice continues to flow, even now after the election season has been put to bed and the next major round of races aren't set until 2010. for example, last night i attended a meet and greet for a friend of mine who is contemplating a run for mayor of new orleans. it was a small gathering of 30 to 40 people, primarily between the ages of 20 and 40, with almost every ethnicity represented. while i think my friend is passionate about what he does in his field, i didn't necessarily think of him as the mayor of nola before last night especially given the nature of politics in this city. but at the event, it was as if Obama himself came down from on high and anointed my friend to run this race...seriously.
the woman who opened for him began her spiel by invoking Obama in all his glory, the idea that while Obama has reached the ultimate height, we, the masses, can not sit ideally by and let him do all the work. no! we must take to the streets and start the revolution. or not. more like we each should become involved in the political process in our own corners of the world. the urgency of now demands it!
and as i stood there caught up in the rapture of her words i had to pinch myself. this hope shit is contagious. addictive even. almost cultish. and my friend had not even uttered a word yet. afterwards, i watched as a woman came up to him and told him how inspired she was to have heard his words. and how excited she was that he was running for mayor. and i thought to myself, wow. really!?! ok! i've known him for a little minute so it's weird to see him make this transition from do-gooder to politician do-gooder (oxymoron maybe?) Obama certainly made us all believe it could be done. with his hope and si se puede...
the full ramifications remain to be seen but its clear that Obama has inspired a generation of folks who previously toiled for justice outside of government to contemplate infiltrating the machine and working for change from within. i guess they've got it...a more potent grade of hope than i've ever seen before.
what say you?
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot