[via Y/A/C/H/T]

hope change history

some thoughts about this historic night

Tonight, I witnessed something that brought tears to my eyes. The election of Barak Obama to the office of President of the United States of America. I’ve always been a political cynic – someone interested in politics, strongly opinionated, but ultimately disbelieving that politicians can really change anything. And largely convinced that the only change politicians can bring is for the worse. But this moment changes everything.

For the past eight years, I have often despaired at what was happening to us. How obvious it was that our President was acting out an agenda that did not have the best interests of the American people at heart. How frightening it was that we, as a nation, failed to curb these policies. How disturbing to see a President so convinced at his absolute rightness, so unthinking and lacking in contemplation, so willing to put other people’s lives at risk to further the agenda, and line the pockets, of his cronies. So filled with hubris that he took actions that even his father knew to be foolish and destructive.

I watched as his first response to the terror attacks was not to unite us as a nation, but to invite us to go out and buy more and bigger cars, and thus to make our ties to the very people who hate us even more difficult to unravel. To increase the degradation of our planet, with no sense of the consequences. My shock and dismay grew as he led us into a war on false pretenses, against a nation that did not attack us – that didn’t even have the ability to attack us. And then to pile lies upon lies as all the original lies fell apart. All while the so-called liberal media swallowed all of it, hook, line, and stinker.

I know I was not alone in my worry and despair, but I often felt it.

As an armchair quarterback, I’ve studied the neoconservative movement. Watched documentaries. Listened to Rush. Watched Fox. And it seemed to me that their core intention from the very start was to frighten Americans into submission. To build up enemies specifically so there would be a reason to tear them down again. Whether the rationale was financial or ideological was irrelevant. The purpose was to rally the American public around the idea of a boogeyman so that people would believe in the idea of America. It is at heart a self-destructive ideology that, in order to be successful, requires fear, hate, and mistrust. This was the agenda of our President and his advisors and, perhaps, his controllers.

A self-destructive ideology will inevitably lead to self-destruction. This became clear in the past few months as our nation was bankrupted. I wonder if we hadn’t already mortgaged ourselves to the Chinese to finance a false war, whether this financial crisis would have been half as bad as it ultimately will prove to be. The only good to come from this final, pathetic consequence of eight years of malignant mismanagement, is that people finally opened their eyes.

And this is where we find ourselves tonight. With the first black President in our nation’s history. The leader of the free world, a man of color, like most of the world’s population. And while his race should not be the most important part of the story, it is still deeply important. Today, we have affirmed that our nation truly believes its most important credo – that all men are created equal. President Obama will soon occupy a house that was built by slaves. Consider that for just a moment. And we have transformed in a single day an eroded vision of America across the globe.

Tonight we are a liberal nation. It’s good to be liberal. It was the liberals of their day who fought and won against the crown to found our nation. And broke with decades of hallowed tradition to abolish slavery. And helped women achieve the right to vote. And paved the way for President Barack Obama. The course of our nation’s history is a slow and sometimes painful movement towards greater openness, acceptance, and inclusion. Tonight we take back the negative connotations of liberalism foisted upon us by a frightened right wing, and own it as the force of progress in our nation, and our world.

Will Barack Obama be a great, or even a good President? I don’t know. I am certain he’ll make mistakes. And I won’t always agree with him. But I am proud to have voted for him, for so many reasons:

Because he is intelligent, thoughtful, well-spoken, and curious about the world. Because he listens to the advice of others, and makes informed decisions. Because he reads, for real, and knows the names of newspapers.

Because he is a Constitutional scholar who will respect and uphold our founding document, and stop the relentless dismantling of it under this sham of an administration.

Because he stands on the right side of environmental issues. Because he believes in science. And the rights of those he doesn’t even agree with.

Because he is not afraid to confront those who wish to tear him down. But also not afraid to compromise when it’s the right thing to do.

Because he seems to have a genuine love and affection for his wife and family. It’s obvious in how they look at each other and interact with each other. Compare that to his former opponent, and his soon to be predecessor.

Because he’ll adopt a shelter dog for his daughters.

Because he was right on Iraq before pretty much anyone else. He’ll get us out of Iraq. And he won’t get us into a war for no reason other than to fight the boogeyman and fill the pockets of war profiteering companies.

Because he inspires people not just to hope, but to do. For the first time in my life, this past weekend I volunteered my time and energy to a political campaign by making a few phone calls. And I saw the enthusiasm of the dozens of other volunteers, of every age, income, and ethnicity. I heard the excitement of people on the other end of the phone, who were rallying their friends and family to vote, many for the first time. He has a leadership quality that brings out the best in people. When so many others just bring out the worst, the smallest, the pettiest.

Because he will restore our deserved respect in the world. And will support and defend Israel, but not unquestioningly.

Because he wants to provide healthcare for everyone in the world’s richest nation.

Because he’s not a man who acts out of anger, or revenge. His even keel will serve us well in the years to come.

Because he will work in an intelligent, careful fashion to find a solution to this financial crisis that won’t just favor those who are already wealthy. Because he knows that trickle-down economics leaves those at the bottom begging for the last drop.

Maybe I’m na├»ve, or too hopeful. Maybe four years from now, I’ll wish I’d never written these words. But tonight, I feel something deeper than just happiness. I feel privileged to be witness to, to be part of, one of the greatest moments in our nation’s history.

And I’m proud once again, after so many years, to be an American.


vote for our progress by david hays

Mr. Hays is a top-notch creative director at Hooky Interactive.


the scariest masks ever

[via Ethan Persoff]


George Bush's "Bananas"

A cool play on the old "Bananas" poster, via Christopher Hitchens' Vanity Fair article...

...and the original it was based on.

With a Little Help from His Friends

[via kingcortez]


Obama Photo

not campaign art, just a cool photo of Obama [via Obama08]


Obama Coutour

Barack on catwalk.


Garbage Palin Kid

[via kingcortez]


Shawshank Redemption Deserved An Award

I think we know who won the debate: the wise-asses standing behind Chris Matthews afterwards.

No More Snakes On Our Planes

I saw this on MSNBC and had to take a pic. Because really, have any of the candidates addressed this pressing issue?

Sarah Palin Scares Diddy

John McCain is Your Jalopy

Great response to barackobamaisyournewbicycle.

Obama Party for Change Mix

download a free music track dedicated to Ba-rock. [via peachfuzz]



[via Facebook]

Hope Over Fear

[via Obama08 Tumblr]


Sarah Silverman for Barack Obama


Vote Early Rock Late

[via Mrk Nchls]

Barock the Vote

[via Obama08]

Flag Poster

[via thillythenny]


How the Markets Really Work

Obama Lincoln by Ron English

[via Popaganda]


Sarah Palin Paintings by Zina Saunders

[via Drawger]


Sarah Palin Pancakes


Barak Skywalker


Obama Kicks by Jim Lasser

Last weekend, Wieden+Kennedy hosted an art show at which these very hipster Obama sneakers were unveiled. The work of an art director at that agency, the shoes are intended to be used as makeshift printer blocks that you can ink and press to paper. Even the event poster is, as they say, "fly."

[via Peachfuzz, Hypebeast, & HighSnobiety]


Hope by El Mac

Things are looking a little bleak right now on the campaign trail for Sen. Obama. Here's a little bit of hope, from back in those innocent days of the primary. Remember hope?
[poster via Complex + El Mac's site]

Political Action Figures

While the world wants Obama, at home PalinPalooza 08 is drawing in more crowds than ever to the once-moribund McCain campaign. And to celebrate her newfound superpowers, a company in Mother England has begun selling Sarah Palin action figures, in addition to Obama and McCain dolls, and inexplicably an Elliot Spitzer doll. Sadly, they have yet to mold a Biden doll. I find the Palin Schoolgirl figure particularly ironic given the whole "high school age daughter got pregnant" thing.



Obama 45 / McCain 48

Real Clear Politics takes an average of multiple polls and finds that Obama is down by about 3 points. And Drudge asks, "Can he get his groove back?"

Not that daily tracking polls actually predict the winner. But I'm on the edge of my seat.

Manifest Hope Online Competition

Manifest Hope ran an online art competition, and these are some of the winners and finalists. See them all here. I'll be posting some pix from the Denver gallery soon.

Illustrated Obama

[source unknown - please comment if you know who created this]
[update: found the source for this, via the Manifest Hope contest - artist is Ken Jacobsen]


Politics & Culture

I've got my first mention in another blog, via good friend Kristi Vandenbosch at Politics & Culture.

In it, Kristi eloquently explores the meaning and value of political art. And does it far more intelligently than I could. Frankly, I hadn't thought much about the "meaning and value of political art." It just kind of seemed cool, and a timely and fascinating subject for a blog.

But the truth is, political art shouldn't be expected to sway opinions. It's a means of cheerleading, provocation, sometimes even satire or outright mockery. It can educate... maybe. Mostly, it reinforces a person's core beliefs about a candidate or issue. Obama as a figure of hope. Palin as a symbol of empowerment.

What I find most interesting is that political art, by its very nature, expresses the passion and emotional involvement not just of the artist, but of the vast public the artist represents who do not have the means, skills, or voice to express themselves. Unlike other forms of art, which are often personally expressive, political art is always socially expressive.


Frau Palin

Sorry, couldn't resist. [via Gawker]

Obama 47 / McCain 45

According to Gallup, the race is now too close to call.

McCainiac Button

I intend to post some work that's overtly satirical or critical of both major candidates, but I'd also like to post some art that's actually in support of McCain (just to be slightly "fair and balanced"). So far, I haven't found much, and I'll leave it to you to judge what that means. But here's a button that I thought was cleverly designed.

Glitter Obama by Aaron Sinift

[Greta_Byrum's flickr photostream]

Cambio! by The Date Farmers

[via Upper Playground]


McCain-Palin Evolution Poster

oh they'd surely hate this. [via adfreak.]