Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Is it Morning Again in America?

Sorry, but I couldn't resist cribbing that line from the "Great Communicator", a guy I hated almost as much as the latest lame-ass lame-duck cowboy about to ride off into the sunset trash-heap of History. Don't let the swingin door hit you in the ass on your way out, George!
To mark the occasion, I stole a few images from HuffPost to put up here. I hope they won't mind my breach of copyright etiquette under the circumstances.
Personally, I have mixed feelings about the racial barrier as the headline message. It's clearly momentous in the context of the current historical arc, and given the suffering and sacrifice of countless beings that have brought us to this crossing, I can understand the emotional outpouring that must necessarily mark it, but it should be one of those things that will seem more and more trivial the further it recedes into the past. Some time in the not too distant future, I hope, we will mark this event with periodic celebrations, and at the same time wonder why anyone ever thought it mattered one way or the other. That, if I heard him correctly, is the world Martin Luther King Jr was talking about. On the other hand, it's clear we still have a long way to go to get there, and it would be difficult to deny that being African-American likely constitutes some important component of who Obama is, at this point in time.
In any case, what's momentous for me is that after 8 years of heading in the wrong direction, enough people have woken up to the absolute necessity of reversing the process to constitute a majority. The message would have been the same for me if it were Clinton or Edwards who got elected yesterday. I admit I didn't vote for Obama in the primary but, having said that, I really think he is a good man for this job, and I had no hesitation voting for him in this election. None whatever. In fact it's hard for me to comprehend why anyone would need further convincing once the primaries were over. I don't know how far Obama will take us but I am confident he will head out in the right direction.
Of course, he has a job ahead of him that will make the Labors of Hercules seem like a cakewalk. The good news is that he will have help, and he is smart enough to enlist capable advisors in the effort. The bad news is that there are some out there who would doubtless like to take his head clean off. I'm not the praying type, but I do have hope, and my hope is that Barack Obama will have a long life, and will be able to make those changes many of us have been waiting for.

2 Comments:

Blogger La vita Alessandria said...

Steve, All well said. Alas, our fight for everyone's rights falls short. The whole episode in California (and elsewhere) with Proposition 8 leaves me frustrated. I read recently that those who voted for the proposition (to deny gay marriage) were mostly Mormon's and Black Americans.
The new "war" now, as Steven Colbert has put it, is between "the gays and Blacks"...How sad. Rachel

November 20, 2008 at 5:00 AM  
Blogger Zalman Paktorowicz said...

Rachel, being intermittently out of the the US newsloop, I somehow missed all the discussions about Proposition 8 until just before the election, and then was rather stunned the day after to see that it had actually passed. I then left a comment on another blog that it's beyond my comprehension why some people still waste their time, and that of their neighbors (and in this day and age, bandwidth), trying to turn their most trivial personal issues into a matter of law. Of course that's being somewhat disingenuous, since I do understand why people do it: because they're hopelessly fucked up!

(BTW I liked what Kieth Olbermann had to say about the issue["Why does this matter to you?"]:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650743/
& play the vid; I think he's pretty sincere, here.)

The only comfort I can offer out of this is (a) being fucked up is a condition that crosses all ethnic, racial, and gender lines, and (b) the ones who are most fucked up, those who actually put their time and energy into campaigns like proposition 8, are a really small minority. Of course, in the case of the Mormon Church, they happen to be a rich, powerful, and determined minority. However, I believe the majority (although I can't say how big that majority is) are either anti-8, or didn't fully understand the issue, or really don't care. Okay, I can't say for sure, but I'm also just hoping that Colbert is wrong, even though the raw numbers seem to back him up. And I could find some dissent from Colbert's view, arguing that other factors were at work, including complacency, lack of strongly organized opposition and outreach (perhaps you've already read some of these, but see, e.g., http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-11-1/hollywoodrsquos-race/; http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=6262). In other words, although the exit poll demographics may indicate a real problem, it's not the whole story, and there really is enough opposition that, once the anti-8 forces get organized, the measure will be ultimately defeated. So it's reasonable to hope.

PS, the links I tried to leave in this comment may not work as such. If you want to visit those sites, you might have to cut and paste the URLs.

November 21, 2008 at 10:26 AM  

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