Summer is officially over and that crash/bang sound you heard is me landing back on the blog scene. I never said I was graceful but I do, indeed, always announce my entrance with fanfare ;).
I hope this post finds you well and…. FIRED UP AND READY TO GO!!!
Avid political junkie that I am, I watched both the RNC and DNC. In spite of my attempt to be open minded, the RNC plagued me with headaches. No lie. I was so enraged by the spectacle of selfishness, the grandiosity of lies and attempts to bullshit the American people that I was glad when it was over. By contrast, I was increasingly more jubilant every night of the DNC because they spoke to me.
Spoke to me of myriad things, the images alone were a true embodiment of what America has become and what I hope our future looks like. People, of all races, cultures, religions, sexual orientation, ages, classes and creeds, bonded together to achieve goals which are beneficial to the common good.
After so much vitriol and hateful rhetoric, it was fantastic to see the passion, commitment and love which people have for President Obama. It can not be gainsaid. He is the most polarizing figure of our times, both loved and unjustly reviled. All my life, I have bemoaned the fact that I live in an age full of cynicism, lacking a unifying, social cause and great leadership. I have listened with fascination to the elders of my family when they reminisce about MLK, Malcolm X and JFK, their voices infused with love and admiration. I confess that I did not completely understand it, although I yearned to. It was my way to get lost in imaginings and love from a distance the accomplishments of giants.
I am glad that I have lived to see and experience a transformative figure and change in the collective human psyche. President Obama is a giant in our time, history unfolding. Much has been said about his historic rise to the presidency and someday the history books will reflect that many of the changes he ushered in are historic as well. #LOVETHAT - It is a thing of beauty.
I am deeply disgusted each time I hear someone opine that African Americans voted/support President Obama just because he is Black. In the same way that I was disgusted when a close friend of mine said she was voting for Hilary in 2008 because she was a woman, period end of story. The argument speaks to cynicism and a prejudice. It’s insulting because it implies a lack of judgement on the part of the African American electorate and blind adulation based on race. Dare I say that many of us are a. more intelligent than that and b. more discerning. Go figure.
I will go down on the record saying that I began to pay attention to incumbent Obama because he was an anomaly, a Black man running for President but that would never be sufficient to gain my vote. I stayed to listen because the issues he spoke of resonated with me and because the intelligence, character, values, commitment and passion of the man were, even then, irrefutable.
There are people running amok raving about unfulfilled promises, NDAA, Guantanamo Bay, campaign finance reform, the assault on civil liberties and the broken machine that is our politics. I understand and mirror their concern. The world is an imperfect place and their is a lot of shit that needs fixing. It takes more than one person and four years to fix it. Democracy is not a dictatorship and his power is not unilateral, re-read the Constitution if you need a refresher.
“The work of many minds, the U. S. Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise….”
To my mind, PBO has fulfilled a great many of his promises and there is no president that can be said to have accomplished everything he set out to do in any case. Bill Clinton’s speech underscored the difficulty of the road he’s travelled in his DNC speech,
“President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President – not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years.”
You are simply not dealing with reality if you turn a blind eye to the dire economic situation he “inherited”, or discount the unprecedented level of Congressional obstruction that has marred his presidency and impeded progress. Certainly, I don’t agree with every thing he’s done but all things, and obstacles considered, he’s done a damn, fine job.
Romney’s values, or lack thereof, and his vision of America, is not one I wish to live in. Not to mention that it will erode years of progress and sacrifice for the LGBT community, women, destroy the middle class, endanger immigrants and severely impact the social safety net. For me, the choice is crystal clear.
I hope the electorate is AWAKE to what is on the line and willing to do their part. Quiet as it’s kept, the political system is not just broken due to corruption, greed, lobbyists and money. It’s broken because apathy is widespread and too many of us fail to understand the importance of voting, the responsibility of citizenship in a functional democracy, and belief in our ability to collectively effect change.
So, I am going to put my money where my mouth is and volunteer. Don’t be shy, you can too :). Think of all the cool people you might meet and the difference you can make. Favorite line from President Obama’s speech? “You were the change.“ And we can be again.
P.S. – OMG I so missed writing