Around Noon Eastern, we will have almost 4 more years of the Barack Obama Administration. We saw wonderful legislation signed in his first two years, only some of which is finally coming to fruition in 2013 (food safety improvements).
The nightmares of a parallel universe where Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan help decide about food safety, school lunch, and farm subsidies should finally ease up. We can bemoan that not much will get done until 2015 thanks to the Republican-led House, but we can reflect on Inauguration Day that we don't live in that parallel universe.
Obama's second term is a painful reminder that if progressives and food enthusiasts want change that will last, time is ticking away. A Democratic person could be elected president in 2016, but they may not be as enthusiastic about the cause, and certainly not have a First Lady (Spouse) as passionate as Michelle Obama.
As we've learned from the delayed Farm Bill, even those who identify as Dem aren't always onboard with changing, or as we put it, going back to Grandma's time. Seriously, those who are conservative should be on the same wavelength as progressives on the ills of our food supply. One of the issues is that many on the right – yes, the Tea Party folk, love corporations as much as they hate the government.
Liberals don't love government as much as conservatives think they do. Liberals want taxes to be collected responsibly to do things for society that private society can't/won't accomplish on its own. And to get out of the way in areas where government ruins things (subsidizing corn, giving farm subsidies to rich people without farms).
Conservatives, rather Tea Party people, don't like government, unless it is the business of killing people who aren't from here. They whine about the debt, so they could be on board with reductions in subsidies for corn and no more farm subsidies for rich people. They may not be happy with increases for school lunch programs or rising food prices, even if U.S. food is the cheapest per capita of developed nations.
The odd disconnect is their love for corporations, as if they are rooting for companies to be deceptive in their labels and to make food as cheap as possible, ingredients be damned. Conservatives are by nature old-school, except on food. They appreciate traditions and traditional means of food, along with progressives, but the results don't match up in the pantries and on the dinner tables.
As much as we would love the federal government to do more about the food supply, not much will get done for 2 more years. If the stars align, the Dems grab back the House and scramble to hang on to the Senate in 2014, Obama and his people have 2 more years to build on 2009-2011. And they will have a lot on their plate, as it were – gun violence, climate change, immigration – so food can easily be lost in the shuffle.
Let's be honest; even if all of that happens, Obama isn't lightning on getting things done. In other words, holding our breath until the Dems take back the House of Representatives will result in lots of unnecessary oxygen losses.
Grassroots, or literally grass grassroots, may be the way to convince those who don't trust progressives too much that food is really important to the growth and improvement of our society. Everything doesn't have to be organic or cooked in foam to make a difference. Changes can be simple, inexpensive, and worthwhile to even the most hardened people.
Progressives waited for years for help from Washington. 2009-2011 showed more improvement from the nation's capital than any 2 years in recent memory. But change can't come just from Washington; if people stand up for a better food supply, there are many in Washington who will help. They can't and won't do it alone; they need your help.
Some other famous president said at his inauguration: “As k not what your country can do for you; Ask what you can do for your country.” You have 4 more years, starting today.