On the Oregon Coast: Wanting More from Obama, Feeling it All Changing
Lincoln City is a liberal town, and Election night November 2nd, 2008, was something else. Our hotel’s large gathering room was filled with faces full of excitement and hope for the future as the presidential electoral votes came across the big screen in fits and starts.
For most here it was a new beginning; an end to the ugly Bush and Cheney era. It was a promise of a new time of international co-operation and collaboration, and an end to the savage wars being fought overseas. Obama trumpeted a new economy based upon clean energy, an end to our dependence on oil, a united front against global warming, and affordable health care for everyone. It was reminiscent of the lyrics of Donald Fagen’s song I.G.Y. “What a beautiful world this will be. What a glorious time to be free.” And we believed it. For many it was the best night of their lives.
And here we sit, two years have passed and the currency of promise has been half spent. Like a boxer who just won’t box we keep waiting for President Obama to let his hands go free. And while his devoted followers patiently wait, our little liberal town isn’t feeling nearly so liberal anymore.
Even though the seeds of discontent may have been sown nationally, they have been nurtured by our hometown politics. After four years on the council and eight years as mayor, our mayor has grown a significant list of political enemies who are now in full blossom.
On the county level we lost our fair, and our animal shelter, programs and departments have been cut, and our schools are in the tank. Citywide, unemployment is at a record high, and our local businesses are at a record low. To many, all of it just seems like a crime, and you can’t have crimes without criminals which is why incumbents fair so poorly trying to find their footing atop a slippery economy.
As November approaches it feels like there is change in the air, locally and nationally. Maybe we will just keep changing leaders back and forth with the swing of the political pendulum until at some point we realize that the clock itself is broken. That’s when real change will find its time.