This and That about Obama’s Presidential Candidacy

On the possibility of Barack Obama becoming the first African American president of these United States, I have a little bit of This and a little bit of That to say.

This is something special for the nation. And for the few million senior-citizen African Americans born before the 60s, This is something very, very special. No one – black or white – who survived the Civil Rights era, could have dreamed of This possibility. It couldn’t happened. Using today’s jargon, it wouldn’t compute.

Still, there is a large segment (about 25%) of the U.S. population that under no circumstances would want This possibility to become a reality. That segment has the mindset of the hopelessly bigoted white person who’d rather die than be cured of an illness by a black physician.

That segment is fueled by the vitriol spouted by far right talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Their message is never about agreeing to disagree with respect and dignity; their message is always about spotlighting what they consider to be the stupidity of pointed-headed liberals who will never see the light. Their followers spread ‘Obama-is-a-Muslim-lies,’ deceive, distort and do whatever is necessary to derail the Obama presidential bandwagon. They never talk of bringing people together; they seek to disrupt and divide.

In recent years, political analyst Pat Buchanan has moved away, at times, from his far right conservative colleagues and shown unexpected objectivity. He praised Obama’s message of change but continued to undermine Obama’s appeal to blacks by suggesting that it is based solely on race. Occasionally, Buchanan has been reminded that since the 1970s, white Democratic presidential candidates routinely attracted overwhelming black support, so the candidates’ positions must have some sway. Apparently, Buchanan has difficulty believing that black voters would take the logical route and place a premium on a candidate’s leadership ability and qualifications, not his or her race, in making their choice.

Evidently, millions of white voters have joined the black majority in supporting Obama, who arrived on the presidential campaign stage with a poignant message of hope, unity, faith, and yes, change to believe in. Has he arrived in time? We’ll know for sure in November. We know now that more of the same won’t cure what ails these United States.

The virtues that once strengthened and defined our nation have been discarded for the past 7 ½ years by our leaders in the White House and Congress. They have turned their backs on fairness and decency; crawled into the gutter in politics; ignored the Geneva Convention and allowed this country to engage in torture; sanctioned greed and pushed our economy near the brink of disaster.

Finally, someone is inspiring us to travel a path that will lead to a better day, a better life and, hopefully, a more perfect union. Most Americans seem ready, even eager to take that journey. As a nation, we need to move away from the politics of fear and rebuild our house divided. And That is what Barack Obama is destined to do. And That for the moment is all I have to say about that.

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