Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Eight Years in Retrospect: Part 1
In Fall of 2000, I was six years old and Barack Obama was not even a senator. I barely knew who Clinton was and Monica Lewinsky was just another name that would hold little meaning at all. At that time, two names would appear to me, one of which I would hear over and over again. Al Gore and George Bush were those names, and at that time, I couldn't tell the difference between the two. I knew that the two men were competing for the presidency, and that was it for that time. Controversies over Florida appeared all over the news during that election, and besides that, I remember little.
As I matured in age, so would my view of the world. Then, one day, a defining moment in the early 21st Century would occur. When my mother woke me up to tell me that airplanes were flown into the Twin Towers in New York I thought she was joking. But going to school that day would confirm my fears. I remember school was empty on that day, all the parents were afraid that something terrible would happen again. For me, it felt unreal, like something that would happen in a book or a movie, it still feels pretty unreal now.
When I discovered that President Bush declared War on Terror, I was afraid. Of course, I didn't know better at that time, but I seriously feared that soldiers would march the San Franciscan streets. Also, at that time, the No Child Left Behind act was passed. A measure that I understood back then and oppose today. Through a drill and kill method of teaching, NCLB teaches to the tests, not the children.
Stem cells and abortions would also be huge parts of my understanding of current events at that time. I was always a proponent of science and technology since I was a toddler, and I remember annoyance at the government for opposing such research. As I learned more about the nature and use of stem cells, my opposition to its banning would only grow. Banning stem cell therapy causes people to suffer, which is always unethical.
The Iraq War would surface very quickly. My classmates, teachers, friends and family were all opponents of the war. Protests would appear all around San Francisco. Lives were lost and families were destroyed in what would soon become the most divisive topic in modern times. It was a major reason to why many of my classmates would support Kerry in the election that would come soon afterward.
After a bitter election where I was introduced to blogging, JibJab and Internet campaigning, I was ultimately disappointed. As a ten-year old I would see my classmates threaten to move to Canada and shout curse words at the government. Not thinking about the future, I would see it only get worse from here.