I think there may actually be some hope for our country. My general feeling this election season was that no matter who won, we were getting a rotten deal at best. Most everyone seems to agree that we’re choosing between bad and worse. To be honest, now that President Obama is reelected, I actually feel a little bit of relief. I mean, at least we know what we’re going to be dealing with for the next four years. There’s no more sense in gridlock, if there ever was any sense in it to begin with.

Today I am watching a recording of a Google webcast on developing a ‘mobile strategy’ for websites, and a statistic was thrown out there that interested me. The mobile web is developing eight times faster than the traditional internet has. The time of day that people are using the web via mobile devices the most is before and after regular work hours. Now a lot of people of course use their mobile devices to watch mindless videos and practice drawing stick figures for their friends to guess words, but the other reason ordinary people use their smartphones is to look up information. They are trying to find out where things are, identify what song they just heard, answer a question, and even get the news. As GPS technology has been paired with cellular devices, people are actually learning to follow maps and directions.

Now, the blindly following of GPS directions could be sowing the seeds for a dismal side-effect of blind following in other areas, but some are getting in the habit of researching their own information. Many companies are turning their support department into community based forums, where users are expected to search for their question before even asking. People aren’t necessarily searching for the truth about what their elected officials are doing and how they are voting, but they are becoming accustomed to receiving information and doing something with it on a regular basis. There is also this growing general consensus that our government has grown larger than it ought to be and people expect cuts to be made.

We may not agree on what programs and departments should be cut, but at least we seem to agree that something must be cut in order to stop going into debt. Although nothing has been done about it as yet, politicians are forced to at least say they will try to balance the budget. That means the people are expecting them to do some work, and that is at least a start.

In Oklahoma, our government is starting to practice asserting its sovereignty in the face of the Affordable Healthcare Act. The state has refused to establish a state-run healthcare exchange, and also refused to comply with the mandate to increase Medicaid eligibility to those whose income is at 133% of the poverty level or below. We have passed a “10th Amendment Resolution,” basically affirming our state’s intention to defy the federal government when necessary.

Colorado and Washington have passed laws legalizing marijuana, which is definitely illegal according to federal law. Whatever your opinion about whether the plant should be legal, this is still another example of the people, through their states, saying “No” to the federal government. The federal government isn’t used to states telling it no since the 1860s, so it will be interesting to see how some of these current battles play out.

I realize most are not optimistic that our current President and Congress will actually accomplish any good, but we should all focus on what victories we did have this year and work to win more in the future. Liberty is popular.

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