Carey Wedler is a young liberal who makes videos. She’s very good. But last month she made a video that really annoyed me, Why I’m Burning My Last Bridge With Obama. In it she talks about how disappointed she has been with the president. I’m all for that, even if I personally haven’t been disappointed. I had low expectation. I knew that he was a typical, cautious, centrist Democrat. And I also knew that like all presidents of either party, whatever he had said during the campaign about privacy and the farcical “war on terror,” it would vanish just as soon as the career spooks got at him. But as Democratic presidents go, he’s about par, and from an absolute standard, that’s pretty bad.
So I forgive Wedler for being young and idealistic, thinking that all that “Hope & Change” rhetoric was something more than the poetry of elections. And her complaints are valid. She does an excellent job of running down what’s wrong with Obama’s term in office:
I would disagree with a couple of these and I would go further on others, but it’s a good list. And it is a sad but true reality that part of growing up involves developing a certain amount of cynicism. But Obama didn’t perpetrate the kind of bait and switch she suggests. He was very clear during the campaign that he was no radical. And he certainly never claimed that liberals should just sit back and relax while he fixed the world. So her response to his election is totally unacceptable:
What’s more, it is simply wrong to say that Obama has become exactly like George Bush, but I will allow that he isn’t different enough. So as a protest, Wedler burns her “Obama Is My Homeboy” t-shirt. I’m all for protests. But she goes on with a rant that combines hippy free love with the looniest of libertarianism. And sadly, I don’t get the impression that she realizes that she’s doing this.
The “both parties are the same” argument is an argument for everything that I suspect Wedler hates. If there is no difference between the parties, then there is no point to voting. And if Wedler and her generation don’t vote, we can depend upon people like Ted Cruz getting elected. The hope of democracy is not that a great candidate will get elected and fix all of our problems. The hope is that enough decent people vote that we can make steps — every person, every policy, every day — to improve the country. If our political expectations are going to be “all or nothing,” then what we will get is nothing. Actually, we will get worse. The modern Republican Party isn’t for keeping things the same. They want to make things worse.
If I could talk to Wedler, I would tell her that her issue videos are great. But what we need right now, is a video to tell people to vote. Maybe she could run her Obama t-shirt burn video backwards. Because Obama is far from ideal, but he is much better than all the Republicans who will get elected in November if young people like her don’t vote.
Also: people like Wedler should be out taking over their local Democratic Party operations. They should be running for local office. That’s where the world is changed!