Friday, August 29, 2008
History in the making...
I cannot believe that I have been lucky enough to see this.....
When I was a kid, I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon. I saw several moon launches and landings, as well as the splash-downs that followed. I still remember seeing body counts on the evening news with good old "Uncle" Walter Cronkite as reports from Vietnam came in. I remember MLK and RFK being shot. I remember when Elvis died. I remember when Nixon resigned. I remember when Jimmy Carter said he had "lust in his heart"and that he had seen a UFO (and I remember his brother Billy, too---still have a can of Billy Beer!) I remember the Iranian hostage crisis, and how it ended abruptly when Reagan took office. I remember when Squeaky Fromme took potshots at Ford, and when John Lennon was killed. I remember when some loser tried to impress Jody Foster by shooting Reagan. I remember the Colts midnight move to Indy (SORRY BALTIMORE!!!!) I saw Mondale speak when he ran for President with Geraldine Ferraro as his VP candidate. THAT was exciting for an independent, emancipated woman like me....
But, I never thought I would see what happened in Denver last night. Last night, I think I saw our country begin to grow up. It's about time. For a country that was founded, allegedly, on the idea of tolerance, we have been one of the most intolerant nations on earth....intolerant of race, religion, sex, height, weight, differences of opinion. Our ancestors, those who came here of their own free will, came here for a change....yet, so many people in this country are afraid of just that, change. "It's always been that way, so just leave it," "If it was good enough for my mom and dad, it's good enough for me, " and so on and so on. But, last night, with one loud, clear voice, projected out into a clear, cloudless beautiful Denver sky, a group of diverse people.....different colors, different sexes, different religions, all came together and asked for CHANGE.
That, in itself, was amazing enough. But the most amazing part is the man they asked to help them achieve it. After centuries of placing the most powerful office in our country into the hands of one type of man, a different type came forward. He was not like all the others before him in appearance, but in heart and soul, he was much more like those early leaders and founders of our country than most of the recent leaders of our nation have been. He cares more about US, the people, than himself or his friends. His name is Barack Obama.
A funny name, yes. His father, Kenyan. His mother, Kansan. Of course, you know all that by now. Oh, but many of you say, I have read/heard/been told he is a Muslim, because his father was/is!!!! No, he is not. He is a Christian, and attends a United Church of Christ. Well, he doesn't wear an American flag lapel pin, or participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. To the first part, he does, on occasion, wear the flag pin. Do YOU wear a flag pin every day? Does that mean YOU love your country any less? My father was a WW II veteran and never wore a flag pin a day in his life. Does that mean he was unpatriotic? No, it was a personal choice. An outward sign of patriotism does not always mean the heart is in the right place. As for the Pledge, if you are referring to a photo passed around and around on the internet, that photo was taken during the singing of the National Anthem, and none of the folks in that photo are looking at the flag behind them. Really hard to judge what they are looking at. But, what about him being sworn in on the Quran? That is completely false. A Minnesota Congressman named Keith Ellison, who is a Muslim, chose to carry a Quran instead of a Bible, since he would not actually be sworn in on a Bible anyway. And, the Quran he carried had been owned by Thomas Jefferson.
There are many other concerns out there about Obama....but on this night....this one night....the 45th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's stirring "I Have A Dream Speech," Americans, some Americans, enough Americans, finally began to " judge not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character." And how appropriate that Dr. King even said, "Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!"
For those who felt Obama did not give enough information early on in his campaign as to what he wanted to do and how, he spelled that out last night. Strangely enough, much of it is what he said to a small group, gathered in a room for lunch, back in April this year. I even felt he used some of our words last night, and was honored. He wants to work for you, for me, for all of us out here trying to merely make a living, raise our children, and be good people. He is NOT going to work for the oil companies, the polluters, the insurance companies turning us away without care. He IS one of us....he knows our lives, and he wants to help. As a man from Indiana who spoke last night at the Convention said, "we need a government who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney."
Yes, I believe. Yes, I think together, we CAN! And it is going to take all of us, together. This will not be an easy fight. Today's news is a good indicator. John McCain, for whom I have the utmost respect for his service to our nation, but who I feel is far too much like GWB and too set in the ways of the conservative Republicans who have let our country go down the drain so far, has chosen a young, unknown woman governor as his running mate. Interesting choice. Trying to get the women's vote, obviously. Trying to reach out to young people, ok. But, this is pandering. Choosing someone just because of her sex and age is an insult, a slap in the face. No, I don't think he should have chosen Hillary, but to me this just shows his desperation and fear of Obama and the power of those who KNOW it is time for a drastic change in Washington.
It is time for change. Our country does need to grow up. How many other nations have had minority or female leaders since the mid-60's? Dozens. The Unites States is stuck in the Older White Male Syndrome, preferably the Older White Male with Lots of Money Syndrome. Why do we think this is the person who best understands us, or who will act in our best interest, or will act quickest when that is necessary? This is generally a person who has acted on their own behalf more often than not. Effective business leaders are generally younger, more energetic, more active. Why do we want our Presidents to be older, more sedentary, and more out-of-touch with regular Americans?
I am inspired. I am going to do what I can, talk to people, call, help in whatever way I need to, to let people know that John McCain, unfortunately, represents the same economic policies that have been bringing my poor little hometown to a standstill. I will be working for change. I will be doing what I can for Barack Obama, and history. I am glad I am lucky enough to see this, and that my children are, too.....I just wish my dad would have...
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