Between the economic global recession, entangling Mideast politics and the sudden appearance of swine flu, the world has become a much smaller place than it ever has before Ė or rather people seem to be more attuned to the world than ever before.
For a lingering eight-year stretch, the Bush administration did just about everything a sitting president could do to alienate the entire world. With the U.S. military controlling two other countries, itís hard not to liken the similarities to the crusades. Iím not talking about spreading Christian influence or condemning Islam.
The similarities are found in how the cultures collide and what the fallout has been. Although the last eight years have been relatively violent and tumultuous, they have been educational.
As in the time of the crusades, the bloody side of the conflict was followed by an explosion of European interest in the outside world. Cultures and nations across the darkened medieval time period suddenly woke up and rediscovered places long ignored since essentially the fall of Rome.
Look at America today Ė as with the crusades a 1,000 years earlier, our culture too is in the grips of political and social revolution. In our turmoil, the country elected Barack Obama.
If nothing else is a sign of the changing times, the election of a young, half-black man with family ties to Islam should at least raise an eyebrow. I have never in my life felt so inspired. Letís not forget that when he announced his candidacy, no one thought he had a shot. Just ask John McCain or Hillary Clinton.
With support of the Republican party still dwindling and its leadership hung on personalities the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, less than one third of those polled by CNN admit to being a Republican.
Combined with the sudden defection of Pennsylvanian Senator Arlen Specter from the party, the Democrats have found themselves in near total control of the executive and legislative branches, even more so than Obamaís predecessor, Bush.
In face of all the odds heís beaten and the surge of political change carried on the wings of public distress, even President Obama must be asking himself if this rare opportunity in history is not the makings of a social, economic and political revolution. He is now in a position to make broad, drastic changes to American government and policy that could change the daily lives all.
With the working class struggling to maintain its quality of life, the issues of healthcare, the environment, international events and obviously the economy have shocked many into paying more attention to the things around them.
Itís only been 100 days since the new president took office, and in that time he spent nearly a trillion dollars on socializing the banks and closed Americaís torture camp down, along with several other things.
I canít say I agree with everything, but I do have a unprecedented level of faith in our new president; maybe thatís just because Iíve had to mature under the stuttering incompetence of the Bush administration. Obama takes the stage and he speaks clearly and precisely. I feel honesty in his conduct and a sharp, educated mind. So despite the bad turns of the world, I feel we could be on the precipice of prosperous change. Change is always painful and difficult, and it almost never happens unless confronted with dire consequences. We are at that point, or very near, and the fruits of our labors in the next decade will have to feed future generations. We live in such interesting times.