Sunday, January 3, 2010

When #1 is Staring Back At You...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

And you think that President Obama is either the #1 go-to guy in America or the #1 reason why this nation is facing so much hardship going into 2010?

I disagree.

It starts with #1.

It starts with us.

We may be paying back the interest on our sins from the 1990s and further back, and I'm not just talking about the Clintons' imitative to get more Americans into the home-buying business - even if they couldn't afford to stay in those homes.

Alas, I regress.

If we are to look at any one lesson to be learned in 2009 to take forward in 2010, it is this: the power of the individual will never be completely irrelevant, so if there is a problem with the nation as we see it unfolding, make sure that it is not unfolding with #1 on the sidelines.

As we saw with the health care debate, buying...I mean...persuading the vote of one key senator here or there can make the difference between hearing the merits of the debate, voting on a bill, and modifying it to please 60 or so senators. As we saw with the foiled plot on Christmas in Detroit, it only took one brave soul to make a difference in saving lives, even as the whole of the US Homeland Security team failed (even though its leader, Janet Napolitano, noted that the system works in wake of the December 25 near-tragedy.)

We saw the difference that the death of one Iranian woman - Neda - could make in bringing into focus the challenges faced by our global neighbors living under the threat of dictatorship and non-cooperative aggression. We saw the aftermath of failing to live up to the promise of 2009 with one high-profile and senseless death in the south side of Chicago - that of Derrion Albert.

We saw the impact that one man could have on the direction of a nation, as President Obama - directly or otherwise - affected the winds of change in RNC leadership, 21st century protests and messaging, political media, global perception of the United States, and the confidence (or lack thereof) in the nation's ability to bounce back on current course of policies.

Even with my "beloved" Pittsburgh Steelers, we saw how the decision of one man (James Harrison) to alter the plan just a bit made all the difference in the world.

All this evidence to say - simply - Happy New Year. We saw a year full of people holding accountable #1 first and foremost to make a difference. In 2010, don't blame Obama, Bush, Democrats, Republicans, or unnamed enemies without first asking if #1 had move forward to make a difference in the end result.

2008 had a historic election. 2009 had historic spending and opposition. For 2010 - it's simply time to be historic.

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