Young people will be White House watchdogs

January 20, 2009|By Doug Manzelmann

Barack Obama has promised quite a bit. The theme for his campaign has been the ambiguous notion of "change." Certainly, this could mean change in a number of things: government spending, foreign and domestic policy, transparency, etc. Mr. Obama, however, is taking office at the most tumultuous of times; the recession that is shrinking economies worldwide casts a shadow upon every policy decision he will oversee.

Entering my final semester as an undergraduate, I am concerned about the health of the job market. Obviously, the economy is Mr. Obama's primary concern. My hope is that the administration and Congress will be thorough in making economic decisions. Money funneled to banks has done little to improve conditions, and I think the administration will need to create and enforce rules that will improve the economy more effectively.

The nation has an obligation, too. Mr. Obama has invigorated the public, especially my generation, but the momentum must not wane. We cannot assume that the administration will act prudently in every situation. Oversight will be needed, and the Internet offers the perfect medium: millions of independent, volunteer watchdogs, each with the ability to ignite the public should some injustice transpire. I am hopeful that Mr. Obama will continue to embrace the Internet to facilitate communication among the public, academia and the government.

Young people may admire Mr. Obama, but we don't worship him. We'll be keeping an eye on things, and if we don't like what we see, we won't hesitate to let him - and the world - know it.

Doug Manzelmann is a student at UMBC. His e-mail is

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