Posted by: Tony Carson | 28 October, 2009

The voice of collective will won’t shut up

Just as there was a profound perception that nothing would actually come from US healthcare reform, so there seemed to be an inevitability in President Obama’s decision to escalate in Afghanistan.

Then the drums started beating. Look what’s happened to healthcare. It may not pass but it appears a meaningful bill will actually be tabled.

And look what’s happening on the Afghanistan decision. People are not going meekly into the good night. They are fighting back. The longer Obama waits to make his decision the more likely the decision will be to pull back.

Thomas Friedman in Don’t Build Up makes the case for many (most?) of us.

“We need to be thinking about how to reduce our footprint and our goals there in a responsible way, not dig in deeper. We simply do not have the Afghan partners, the NATO allies, the domestic support, the financial resources or the national interests to justify an enlarged and prolonged nation-building effort in Afghanistan.”

Has there ever been a time when the people’s voice has percolated up to the decision-maker more insistently than now? It’s the technology, of course. The polls, the blogosphere and the twitterscape.

True, the decision on both issues has not yet been made but the trajectory is clear: there is a collective will and it insists on being heard.

Pretty exciting stuff. A long way from the Bush/Cheney pronouncements.

Maybe democracy isn’t dead after all.


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