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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/5/08

Yes We Did (And What We Must Do)

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The text of his speech can be found on the Internet and I suspect I will revisit it at a later time when it is necessary to look at what was said and reflect. But, this campaign, unfortunately, hinged upon emotions. So, despite the fact that critical issues may have been hinted at, what mattered was the sense of relief people were feeling as they realized there was hope for America after all.

Few supporters there ever talked about "the issues" or policies Obama might employ in the future so tonight it didn't matter what Obama would do. The future to people there could be anything now that Obama was elected.

The night came to an end in Grant Park and Obama waved to the crowd and left the stage as America’s new president-elect. I slowly headed out in the throng of supporters who each had a T-shirt, button, etc. with Obama and/or Biden on it.

Throughout the evening and night, press swarmed all over the crowd catching every moment that showed some kind of frenetic energy. This continued after Obama left the stage. 

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What happened in Grant Park was one thing, but what I saw outside of Grant Park on Michigan Ave was another. Rampant commercialism and police on horses greeted me as I turned out of the park and onto the street to head home for the night.

Every other person it seemed had a hat, a button, or a shirt to sell. Sometimes people had watches or photos to sell. And sometimes, people had some kind of cheap massively produced piece of art for you to have to remember this moment forever.

Whatever it was, I didn’t want it and yet I felt like I should buy it for the fact that this was history. I wanted to get dozens of everything for family and for friends as gifts and to have for the future when I tell my children and grandchildren I was in Grant Park on Election Day.

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I looked back at the police on horse ready to mobilize if necessary and remembered being at the DNC and RNC and seeing so-called rights suppressed and unfairly regulated.

All these people who voted for Obama made me wonder---what will they do next? Will they be organizing as citizens to get the change they believed in or will they go home and continue to be bought of by gizmos and gadgets?

Will they have creativity and imagination and high expectations for the future?

Will they have the courage to stand up for what the people deserve even when Obama says “no”?

Will they organize outside the system and build off their organization within the system?

Will they truly adopt the belief that anything is possible because Obama won?

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I know that class and race still present many barriers, but if the African-American in power thinks cynicism should be replaced by hope and we should work for whatever we believe in because anything is possible, than perhaps we should heed his words.

Single-payer health care, a worker’s bill of rights, a repeal of the PATRIOT Act and its expansions, a reassessment of our debt-based money system and no more bailouts for Wall Street, a crackdown on corporate crime and corporate welfare, a massive cut in the bloated military budget, a reverse of our current illegal and reckless foreign policy which would bring an end to wars in the Middle East, clean energy, election reform, a living wage, etc. should all be fought for despite the fact that centrist Democrats and Obama may oppose achieving these goals.

Bush and Cheney should be impeached and prosecuted for a laundry list of crimes they committed, which resulted in the utter destruction of the rule of law from 2000-2008.

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Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof Press. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure." He was an editor for
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