Change (.gov) Has Finally Come to America

President-elect Obama’s New Web site Seeks to Give Power to the People


Published: December 11, 2008

Change is a word Americans have become accustomed to hearing a lot more frequently ever since Barack Obama used it as the central theme of his presidential campaign. He promised that a vote for him would be the “Change You Can Believe In.” After winning the race to become the 44th President of the United States, Obama has capitalized on America’s desire for change by creating was created for people to get a closer glimpse into Obama’s transition to the White House. Obama is the first president in our history to use the Internet so extensively to communicate with citizens. I believe that this is a sign that our nation is moving towards an era that unites technology and politics.

The Web site gives Americans the opportunity to learn more about what Obama and the members of his administration plan on addressing following his inauguration. Personally, I love being able to log onto the Web site to read up on issues without having to decode any political jargon that so many of the other candidates use. The issues are discussed clearly and presented with commentary from Obama, making them a lot easier to comprehend. The fact that he makes the issues one of the focal points of the Web site reassures me that he is ready and willing to focus on them when he does take office.

I also like the fact that people can feel even more involved with their government by having an opportunity to post personal stories from the campaign and share ideas on how to improve the current state of the government. It’s refreshing to have a president who wants to hear what the people have to say. It lets citizens know that they can each have a voice in the government and reassures them that they shouldn’t be afraid to contribute their own opinions. Direct participation is an essential democratic concept that this Web site attempts to put into practice.

The Web site’s section entitled “America Serves” gives people the opportunity to help Obama and his administration not only expand national service organizations such as Head Start and the Peace Corps, but also enables them to be a part of the creation of several new service organizations. The new service organizations Obama plans on developing include a Classroom Corps, a Clean Energy Corps and a Veterans Corps. The Web site urges “Americans from every walk of life to serve” their nation. He wants every citizen to play an important role.

Another one of the Web site’s main purposes is to provide people with up-to-the-minute coverage regarding Obama’s choices for members of his administration. Given the collapse of our economy, heightened attention is being given to Obama and the people he is nominating to head the various departments. In announcing his choices directly on the Web site, he is making people feel a lot more connected with his transitional process by allowing them to read a first-hand account of how and why he has made those choices.

The Web site also features a streaming video of the President-elect’s weekly address to the people. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first to use “fireside chats” as a way to address citizens about important political issues via the radio, but Obama is now embarking on a modern revival of the “fireside chats” by replacing the radio with YouTube. In a time when YouTube has become as important as television and radio, these informal video addresses have the power to reach millions of Americans, enabling them to have a better understanding of the issues Obama will address while in office.

The Web site has a tool that allows people to apply for a job within the Obama-Biden Administration. Obama has worked to dismantle the common belief that jobs within the president’s administration are solely reserved for Washington insiders. In making jobs available to everyday Americans, he is letting everyone know that he and his administration care about what citizens can contribute to their government. He wants the American people to know that they too can help to bring change to Washington and to the United States.

I applaud Obama and his transition team for enlivening the democratic spirit in all of us. His Web site has allowed people to reconnect with their government and make them feel like they are a part of history. implies not only that change will come, but that the era of change is present in us.