Sunday, June 8, 2008

Obama's Inspiring Ride

The final words of Barack Obama's second book, The Audacity of Hope, describe in one sentence his feelings about the nation that allowed him--as a self-described "skinny kid with a funny name" and product of mixed marriage--to rise up and become a successful political figure. The nine words Obama uses to complete the book that helped launch him onto the national scene must have been paraphrased by many this past week.

"My heart is filled with love for this country."

On Tuesday night, Obama's primary campaign came to a victorious end, securing the requisite number of delegates to claim the Democratic Party nomination, as he did that night in this speech. Not only was his victory speech rousing, inspiring, and spectacularly-crafted, but the sense of history could not be avoided. Here was an African-American man, claiming for all to see that he would be the one, with all the negativity and dismay toward the eight years of the other party's disastrous rule, to take on the destructive nature of the past and push America towards a more promising future.

So many never believed they'd see the day when a person of color would be a major party nominee for the nation's highest office. For the people who lived through the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, for the people who watched police savage the Selma marchers, for the people who saw the promise of the Kennedys and Dr. King taken away forever by the assassin's bullet, the coronation of Barack Obama as the standard bearer of the Democratic Party must have been a sight to behold, regardless of their political persuasion.

We have come to believe in recent years that our political process has become beholden to special interests and shady back room dealings. Only those with money and name recognition can reach the highest levels of government, and when they get there, they don't bother to look after the people who really need the help. They look after the moneyed interests that helped them get elected. What is left behind is an electorate that doesn't trust their leaders, and doesn't expect very much from the in return.

Barack Obama has showed that real grassroots support and an outsider's attitude can help get one to the highest levels of government without needing lobbyists and serious moneyed interests to get there. Obama went up against the most powerful brand name in American Democratic politics, and he beat them. Hillary Clinton ran a spirited but deeply flawed campaign, and in the end she was taken down by Obama's superior organization and the groundswell created by his message of hope, change, and unity amongst all Americans. I've heard Obama's nomination victory over Clinton called the greatest upset in American political history this week (I think James K. Polk would beg to differ), and maybe they're right. All I know is that Obama ran the best political campaign I've ever seen and edged Clinton for the nomination because that's what he had to do to win.

I grew up always believing that anybody in America could become President of the United States. I had lost that faith over the years, but this past week has restored that faith. 50 years after black people had difficulty getting voting rights in the South, while Jim Crow laws still ruled the day and brutal crimes against blacks went largely unpunished, a black man is now the favorite to become president during this turbulent time. Obama is proving that anything can happen in this country, where a man with Obama's skin hue and background can become the leader of the free world. He is the best our country has to offer, and that makes me so very proud to live in this amazing nation.

Like Barack Obama, my heart is filled with love for this country.

A few "houskeeping" items before I go, as Professor Dante Scala would say:

I had been working hard on a Veepstakes post but the work on that has come to a screeching halt as the nomination race concluded so decisively this past week. I'm going to start up working on it again this week and I'd like to have at least the Democratic side posted by next Sunday. I'm trying to be very thorough with my evaluations of each potential candidate, and I'm trying to get through everybody and not just a Top 5 or Top 10. Chris Cilliza is doing some work on this, check out the link for his blog "The Fix" on the right sidebar.

Also, because I'm back home in Bartlett and dealing once again with the barbarism that is dial-up Internet, I'm not going to be on AIM very much except for when I'm at my mother's house. I will try to update both of my blogs as much as I can for the rest of the summer, and I would suggest to those who read my blogs to bookmark them and check frequently if I'm not online. That's the best way to get your Musings/Baseball fix.

I'll leave you with a hilarious link to a website called Things Younger Than John McCain, updated daily with items that are younger than the man hoping to be the oldest President in history. High comedy.


No comments: