Saturday, December 12, 2009

2009: The Great Recession

I'm not the kind of person to go crush hopes and cast everything in a dark manner. There are plenty of people out there who make a living doing this. But for most people, 2009 was rough.

This seems to be a fitting mantra, at times...
2009: When dreams were crushed and nothing was truly great.

  • In 2009, many faithful Obama supporters lost the faith, as a compromise turned to betrayal at times and progressives were left in the dark. The war machine was only pushed harder, and definitive progress toward universal health care was unclear, not to mention the soft hand that was given to corporate America.
  • In 2009, we watched a number of big names pass away: Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Senator Edward ("Ted") Kennedy, Robert Novak, Les Paul, John Hughes, Corazon Aquino, Frank McCourt, Walter Cronkite, Steve McNair, Billy Mays, Farrah Fawcett, David Carradine, Natasha Richardson, Paul Harvey, among so many others.
  • In 2009, we watched the world's biggest athlete, Tiger Woods, come crashing to earth.
  • In 2009, we saw a 8-year old war get extended, a frustrating move, after so many wait for friends and family members to come home.
  • In 2009, we watched the old partisanship that we grew familiar with return in full fashion.
  • In 2009, we watched a season of NCAA football without any obvious favorites, dominant teams, and disappointing showings from historically great programs like USC, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and Michigan.
  • In 2009, Democracy took a slap in the face with the Honduran Presidential Crisis and Afghan Elections.
  • In 2009, The world didn't have one great nemesis. As we dirtied the planet and the air, killed each other, and watched silently as our neighbors died, the enemy was us all along.
  • In 2009, Nuclear proliferation ran wild, as Iran and North Korea weren't persuaded by the West.
  • In 2009, the swine flu killed thousands worldwide, leading to irrational panic and blaming.

As we look back on 2009, and the decade as a whole, it is tough not to be disappointed. For many of us, growing up in the 1990s meant seeing America in the most favorable light. The 2000s hit us with surprises- we saw ourselves scared, divided, guilty, and even desperate.

With 2010 around the corner, I can only hope this next decade works out for the best. If we work hard and work together, we can become healthier, smarter, safer, and more prosperous than we were when we started. Lefties, let's do it.

PS: Need some hope? Check out

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was the Honduran presidential crisis really an example of democracy taking "a slap in the face"? In a nation of laws, democratically elected leaders are sometimes legitimately removed from office. As I understand it, the Honduran attorney general charged Zelaya with violations of Honduran law (and they didn't even have to appoint an independent counsel!), the Honduran Supreme Court ordered Zelaya's arrest with due regard for legal process, and the constitutional second-in-line was sworn in. Then in November, Honduras witnessed a democratic election that received high marks from international election observers.

It seems on the whole that this episode was less a slap in the face than it was a major democratic victory. I daresay that if in June 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice had charged George W. Bush with serious violations of U.S. law, the U.S. Supreme Court had sanctioned his arrest and removal from office, and his constitutional successor had peacably been sworn in, followed by last November's election, Henry's year-end wrap-up would have touted it all as a great triumph for democracy.