It seems like much less than ten years ago that I was pondering what we'd call the next decade! The "aughts" or the "naughts" sounded arcane, and the "ohs" just didn't seem right. But now, on retrospect, the "uh-ohs" seems to nail it.
It was a decade made up of many mistakes, beginning with the election of George W. Bush. But it really wasn't so much a mistake as a gross error in judgement by the Supreme Court who decided to overstep their jurisdiction and appoint a president rather than reinforce the law that states that all the votes should be counted.
We should have known then that the decade was destined to be troublesome.
And that it was. It started with an almost overblown mass hysteria. Remember Y2K? We were all afraid of what would happen to our computers when the clock chimed midnight. Fizzle to nothing....
The early oh-ohs brought about the dot com bust and things seemed to go downhill from there. Nobel Prize winning economist and NY Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that the decade should be called The Big Zero, as that's what it brought about-- zero economic gains for the average family, zero job growth, zero gains for homeowners-- a big fat O.
The end of the decade did bring about something good. We finally got George W. Bush and his cronies out of the White House. We elected the first African American President in Barack Obama, and gave the Democrats control of both Houses of Congress. Unfortunately, all is still not well. We just have to get big money out of the political equation and perhaps we can get the change we worked so hard for.
So let's look upon the start of a new year and a new decade with a renewed sense of purpose. Let's take back control of our country. Let's fight for real campaign finance reform so that we can truly change things for the better. Let's work to elect progressives to represent us, and get rid of the Blue Dogs and ConservaDems along with the Republicans (because if there's one lesson we should have learned from the health care reform battle, it's that they're all the same).
The liberals and progressives need to band together in the coming years to make sure we get the change we champion so loudly. We should begin with compassion, as that's the quality our opponents across the aisle so glaringly lack.
If we work from a place of caring for our fellow human beings, we could bring about health care as a basic human right for all people, and an end to war. I'd say those are pretty good goals for the teen years.
A quick programming note before I sign off... I'll be on the air tonight, and will host my final Air America late night program of the year tomorrow night from 11pm-1am ET by finishing up our look back at 2009. I'll spend tomorrow afternoon once again guest-hosting the Randi Rhodes Show from 3-6pm ET too.
Although 2009 was a tough year for most Americans, it was a very professionally rewarding one for me. I had a professional dream come true when Air America radio asked me to fill in on their late night program this summer. Here we are, six months later, still on the air, and I thank you for listening!
Although I can't predict what 2010 has in store, I promise you that I'll continue to speak truth to power and calling things as I see them. And I hope you'll join me as we fight to bring this country back to the principles that made it great.
Happy New Year!