The 2012 election is upon us, and it’s time to get serious. But it’s also time to have a lot of fun. As I think about the ways I hope to contribute to the national discourse this year, I think back to the amazing election of 2008.
In 2008, I was introduced to the world of progressive blogging as a writer for The Seminal. This blog, founded by a group of recent graduates from Northwestern University, offered a bold analysis that took on establishment politicians – both Republican and Democrat. We insisted that the candidates and the media cut through the B.S. and address critical issues such as climate change, poverty, civil liberties, and corporate abuses.
The Seminal had a definite pro-Obama flavor, but that didn’t mean we wouldn’t call him out when he was betraying progressive principles. After Obama took office, and as the Seminal writers became more involved in other projects, the blog was incorporated into FDL – a well-known and much larger site with less of that trademark Seminal edge.
Which brings us to The Spectacle. In many ways, my goal in forming this blog is to recapture the essence of what The Seminal was in 2008. We didn’t just write about politics. We poured our hearts into it, and there was a palpable sense that what we were doing was part of a movement that would change history.
Time will tell just how much 2008 actually changed things. I confess that I have returned to my cynical position that both parties are bought and sold by corporate interests, and that the only true changes will come outside the two-party system – a position that is anathema to many of my progressive friends. On this blog, I hope there will be voices that reflect both the pro-Obama and the “throw the bums out” perspectives.
Either position, however, indicates that 2012 is just as critical as 2008. We have all been chilled by the Tea Party’s “war on government” ideology, and we are already seeing the devastating effects of massive budget cuts on the lives of ordinary citizens. It’s time for the left to unite; to agree to disagree on the merits of Obama’s first term; and to provide a clear and consistent narrative that can counter the distortions and lies that are undoing 150 years of positive change.
Please join the conversation!