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thoughtcassette is a lifelong art project created by Denver Lewis, focused on visual poetry & prose.

poetry & prose.

The Man is the Man: People Powered Politics

Denver Pittman

Urban dictionary defines cool as “laid back, relaxed, not freaked out & knowing what is going on.” Since the inception of government in the United States, this has been a hard feat to integrate into the nerdy, often offbeat realm of politics. But in 2008, perhaps the Coolest man on Earth at the time taught the American people what it was like to be part of a greater movement. The rest is history. In the past, it could be inferred that politics starts out with about as much swagger as Hanson circa 1997: building up to an exciting campaign, yet unable to keep our interests for very long. But there’s something about Barack Obama that has made government perpetually “cool”. And a lot of it has to do with his emotional investment in state & local politics. Those grassroot campaigns like those of the Harvey Milk’s of our past are the ones that stick in the American minds. These figures harness the impossible cool, and then proceed to share it with us. Each give people a desire; something to believe in. They stood behind the small town mayors who, rather than sitting around shooting the breeze in congress, were on their hands and knees taking care of the daily grind. Barack Obama and his cool predecessors harness the willpower of an incredibly passionate group of people (i.e. local government) & make participation and community engagement suave. Obama’s cool was a projection of those desires to which he gave his campaign, not of his own. In the information age many local governments are thirsting for ways to renovate politics & they could certainly take some (three) pointers from our chief. Today, people no longer have to wait 4 years to have their voices heard but instead 2 minutes, to blog or tweet them. This is no longer the land of prior restraint, and if government does not learn to play it “cool” on all levels…it will never listen.