A Dream Realized

There is a direct trajectory from Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream” speach 45 years ago to President (elect) Barack Obama’s victory speech in Chicago. Maybe this is Dr. King’s dream realized?

Obama’s campaign has already transformed this country. I have noticed how frequently the white middle class Obama supporters expressed their surprise at how much racism they confront when they discuss their support for Barack Obama. It’s a real eye opener for white Americans to face this reality. And this will have a lasting effect on society. Politically, the style and strategy of Obama’s campaign have been vindicated, and probably will be analyzed and discussed for many years.

Personally, my recent post about the Deployment of a US Army brigade in the US pretty much sums up where I was a few weeks ago. Hopeful, but waiting for the other shoe to drop. Now, I am HOPEFUL. The paranoid voice is still there – I still wonder what the Bushistas can/want to pull. I am certain that they are busy right now shoveling the bailout money into offshore accounts and removing all “O” keys from the keyboards in the Whitehouse.

The other dream President Obama carries on his shoulder is that very contemporary dream of a fundamental change in Washington politics. I don’t think it’ll happen in any major way in his first term. Right now Obama is busy assembling many experienced insiders for his administration. Not really “Team Change” as much as “Team Cleanup.” He will be the most powerful President in American history – thanks to the work of the Bushistas – plus he’ll have a Congress controlled by Democrats and a serious mandate. But cleaning up the mess left by Bush/Cheney will take a term – at least.

Perhaps most importantly, though, was what did not win on Nov. 4: fear.  Fear did not win. Hope was Obama’s message. Not miracles, just the opposite of fear. The McCain camp had become the party of fear and distrust. As the economy turned into a lump of coal, Americans, to their credit, turned to the guy who offered hope, not to the fearmongers. Obama appealed to the resillience of America and his appeal resounded among the voters. THAT gave me hope.

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