Presidency 2.0

I didn’t watch the Inauguration because my power went out at 11:55, so while I won’t have an especially uplifting memory of the event, at least it’ll be a unique one. I followed a link to WhiteHouse.gov that showed the civil rights page has more LGBT bulletpoints than racial or gender, but to me the most interesting thing was the White House Blog. The first post is timestamped 12:01 PM and promises an interactive website complete with RSS feeds, searchable databases of executive orders/proclamations, and full text of all bills that are ready to be signed, in order to allow for public comment.

Combine this with USAService.org and it’s obvious that they are creating a governance portal in the vein of Facebook/Blogs/Youtube that will aim to keep people connected and probably even have some fun doing it. Also, I see this expanding greatly; I would be very surprised if they don’t encourage artistic and scientific expression in addition to political ones, and then mine the content for their discussions and symbolism. This is something that Obama has always said he would do but I’m not sure people are picking up on: he’s about creating a public governance movement, not just an administration. It’ll be interested to see how people react to that (my guess is that there won’t be much of one for a long time because it’s so different that the pundits will be blind to what’s going on, just like they have been for 80% of Obama’s campaign) but even more importantly, whether it will actually work as our economic situation becomes worse.

I hope it will, and am trying to figure out how to best contribute. This was a theme amongst my family when we met over the holidays: we all feel a drive to become involved in the community and work towards something, but there has been no guiding force or greater goals, so it always seemed like our efforts were a grain of sand in the wind. Perhaps Obama (well his vision) is what will help us form it into a rock. The man himself is only human, it’s what we are going to do that matters…and I hope that people don’t get discouraged when they realize that Obama himself is constrained, because trying to foist power onto him will only end up in disaster.

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Author: MIKKEL FISHMAN, Economics Editor