Monday, January 7, 2008

Then I Can Die Happy

I wrote briefly about this as a comment on a friend's blog tonight. I was going to leave it at that (it's late and I'm tired), but I was lying in bed and more about this was going through my mind.

Barak Obama has not been my favorite candidate. Truth be known, I have had no favorite other than the very dark horse of Dennis Kucinich. And I have liked Kucinich because of our common ground. He believes in the punative measures I believe in. Measures that I believe should be exacted against the criminals who have held our constitution hostage for seven years now. And I have written about those beliefs freely here. And argued them with friends and family.

And if pushed to it, I will argue no differently today.

But in just the past handful of days I have begun to think that my beliefs just may be superfluous after all.

This is what I wrote in comment earlier tonight:

"I found myself today thinking of Mikhail Gorbachev. As far as I am concerned this man was a true hero of the late 20th century (far more responsible for the fall of the Soviet Union than Ronald Reagan).One of his greatest facets was his determination to change his society for the better - even at his own expense. That takes a great person.

"I have felt similarly about Obama to what (others like myself have said). But I have come to realize in just the past few days that just maybe we're seeing something greater than any of us hard lefters had hoped for. Just maybe we're seeing the beginnings of a truly new emergence of freedom. And just maybe that new freedom has more to do with a message of hope than it has to do with a detailed reckoning of the evils of the NeoCons' crimes. And just maybe we're becoming the ones who are superfluous.

"I'm not sure. But one thing I am sure of: if that is what is happening, I damn sure want to have the good grace to let my mightily held indignations go by the wayside as I watch the new hope ride into town."

To expand on that, I don't think this has anywhere near as much to do with Barak Obama as it has to do with The People. Hillary is already acusing Obama of being full of empty rhetoric. The NeoCon death machine is already planning the implementation of a vicious attack on Obama. (Ironically, this attack is going to focus ten times more on his supposed Muslim roots than on the color of his skin. The insidious viciousness of this lies in the false choice it attempts to lay before Obama's defenders: Do you assert that he is indeed not a Muslim, or do you rise up and emphatically declare the truth and promise of our Constitution that mandates that there shall be no religious test for any person seeking public office in the United States?)

But do you see? I cannot help but continue to couch this in an "us against them" paradigm. And I am beginning to see that those who will truly manage to rise above this and usher in the new age that restores - and even better yet, realizes - the promise of our democracy, will not be those who have fought the old fight, on the old battleground that is steeped in the traditional enmities of that old struggle. No, the victors will in fact not be victors. They will be winners. Not victorious vanquishors of foes of old, but inheritors of the promises of liberty fought for by our founders.

General George Washington led men to victory against King George in 1783. But we claim July 4th, 1776 as the birth of our nation, when the pen declared us victorious. Rhetoric is not empty. Rhetoric inspires. An inspired people rises above conflicts and sets their sights on horizons they clearly see. And that inspiration provides the strength and courage to turn vision into heritage.

I will gladly become superfluous. I finally understand why Barak Obama has likened our current body politic to the struggle of the 60's. He hasn't demeaned the struggle thereof. But that struggle, which continues today, is a struggle not destined to resolve itself in identifying a victor in terms of the day, but rather in birthing a new people, free of those struggles.


Beth said...

I agree with you to a point. What has set our country apart and above all others is the rule of law. If crimes have been committed - especially at such a huge cost - then people should have to pay a price. There has to be a cost. Not just for blood lust - but so that the rest of the world knows we are what we say we are AND so our party can be known as the party that restores law and order. We had to sit through years of Bill Clintons sexcapades being punished as a crime - I think the nation should have to hear exactly what the Bush administration has done in the citizens will perhaps be more vigilant in the future and hold the media as well as the elected representatives to a higher standard. I also think BO being a movement isn't enough. While I am open to him - he's gonna have to show me something. People getting swept up in movements is how we got in the position we're in I demand more substance and less fluff. Inspire me with some specifics!!!!!!!!! :-)

Yar said...

A couple of comments:

I do want to see these criminals brought to justice. And like you it's not for some petty revenge. I also really believe we need to show to the world (and to other would-be American tyrants) that we will not permit thisagain. It's just that I we may not get that to happen. Hope and vision may become the new rule of the land. I guess I just feel kind of like Moses. We fight the good fight for forty years, but cannot enter the promised land. And I guess I'm just trying to come to terms with that (however, if there is some chance we can exact justice, I will put everything I have behind that!).

The other comment I have is regarding this notion that rhetoric is empty without actions. That certainly can be the case, but it isn't necessarily so. Some inspirational rhetoric has been sufficient to move nations. John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Patrick Henry, to name a few. These were all men of action themselves, yes. But their inspiration was not in detailing their courses of action. They all were broad brush strokers when it came to inspiration. But that worked; it inspired people because it held out a vision of hope. That's something we have missed for a long time as a nation. Ronald Reagan's popularity was largely due to a perverted version of this. Hillary said she didn't want to give false hope to the American people. On the surface that sounds wise. But could you imagine Martin Luther King saying, "I have a dream. But I won't tell you about it because I don't want to raise your hopes only to see them dashed."?