Blinded by tears of joy and passion
As our moment of national euphoria becomes codified into national memory-- into History-- I see distortion.
It seems the Official Version is going to be
that Americans chose Obama as an alternative to
MLK-era racism and Lincoln-era slavery.
I don't think so. I think Obama was chosen as an alternative to more recent wrongs, perpetrated by BUSH.
To say that Obama's win is -mostly- about the 1860's and 1960's-- is to say that his job is mostly done, just by being elected. Not so! Obama's mandate is to repair the present day damage STILL being done by Bush.
It's true that the GOP chose to run McCain-- the longtime opponent of celebrating MLK's birthday as a holiday; and Palin-- she being a throwback to Secession, and the Know-Nothing party, and Cross Burning.
But just-because the GOP chose to run AGAINST Lincoln & MLK, that doesn't mean Obama was primarily "about" that. Sure, Obama took correct side on those 'issues'. But how hard is that? Not very. But Obama refused to let the election be framed soley in those bygone terms-- he framed the debate in terms of today's War, today's Debt, today's economy, tomorrow's healthcare and energy policy.
Just because the GOP couldn't be bothered to field a candidate concerned with this century, doesn't mean Obama's win is a victory over the past alone.
History's distortion in the making-- reminds me of Giuliani. After two terms of his rule, New Yorkers understood that he stood for viciousness, racism, corruption, hubris. In 2000, he didn't even make it to election-day, against Hillary. Then 9/11 arrived and suddenly far-too-many New Yorkers convinced themselves that Giuliani had miraculously transformed into a hero. And he feasted on their brainfart like a vampire fat with blood, until about a year ago.
I don't want to see Obama's momentum get lost in a similar brainfart. It would be a terrible lost opportunity, if Obama's actual message of change and progress against present-day wrongs; were dumbed-down to change vs. bygone phantoms. Because then he just stands for the status quo.
The media is already talking about the same thing you mention, except that most of the spin I've heard is from the republic side, that is, Obama shouldn't move too fast, he should govern from the center (which means the right).
Hell, I heard some jackass republic rep from CA whining that Obama can't increase the deficit because of what's been done in the past 8 years.
I got news for them...
Even though I know he doesn't have it in him , I wish Obama would just come out and tell them to grow the fuck up , or get the hell out of the way while he cleans up THEIR pile of elephant shit.
Did you notice that on election night his expression looked more like a defeated than a victor? I won't dare claim to know exactly what he was thinking -- but I sure did sympathize with the expression because it mirrored mine.
From a white person's perspective -- something wonderful happened -- but it's all about them. He didn't break down any barriers -- they did. Enough of them voted for a black guy -- broke past their barriers. Give them a cookie! And some black people are more patient than I am -- I guess -- can rejoice over any progress. I wish I could share in their excitement.
That black guy had to "shuck and jive" to win. I don't know if anybody can really stand up there and be themselves -- but he surely couldn't. He had to do things that made him sick to get there -- and you could see it in his face along the way. But -- he won't wallow in what should be and he won't get lost trying to change things he can't. He's about what is -- about what can be done -- NOW.
So -- let Joe Public have their shallow moment. That distraction will just make it easier for him to do what he ran for office to do.
I can't wait to get past this phony party and start the real one.
I'm sure you're right on all counts.
But Team Shuck-n-Jive was surely McCain & Palin; carrying on like cartoon white folks-- as if they were on Hee Haw!
Obama's compromises were more a matter of keeping his mouth shut at certain times than making a fool of himself.
I keep thinking of Ralph Ellison's 'Invisible Man'. So far, I think Obama has fared quite well against the pitfalls listed in that book.
Still, I'm sure he isn't entirely unscathed.
Aside from the rather snarky headline, of COURSE the public's OK with Democrats in charge, they just CHOSE to put the Democrats in charge, it puts the lie to the "the US is center-right" myth.
Obama ran a one-word campaign, and (unbelievably) McSame tried to steal that one word.
This election was a referendum on the atrociousness of the Bush years. It seems just as likely, to me, that Obama might have carried a couple more states if he *wasn't* black. That he carried as many as he did might mean that America is willing to do the right thing "even if that means we have to vote for the black guy".
At the very least, anyone who thinks that "racism is dead" is a moron. It might be, in another generation or two, but it's not, now.
Seems to me it boils down to "I'd rather retire in my own house that's paid for than keep hatin' on someone because of their skin color."
On the plus side, it's looking more and more like the GOP is going to have no choice but to either abandon the crazed fundagelics or continue to be handed their asses in elections.
I truly want them to have no where to go, and I'm optimistic I may get my wish.
This is true.
That wasn't a criticism of him. I sympathize with him -- and trust that he couldn't think of any better way to do it. I sure don't know how he could have done it much differently. Oh, no. It's definitely not about him.
It's the shallowness of the victory relative to the effort and sacrifice it took to get it that bugs me.
It's a sad, sad commentary that somebody smarter and of higher character than his opposition put together with a couple of extras thrown in had to be damned near perfect -- and had to fight so hard to win.
He had to toss much better people aside than the opposition could ever hope to be.
What's exciting about that?
I'm ready to get past the "celebration" and get to the reasons I voted for him.
"I'm ready to get past the "celebration" and get to the reasons I voted for him."
The barriers are being broken down. People of good will the whole world over are happy about that.
(Less divisive, worded that way, I thought.)
Here, I have to nop, and I don't see any likelihood that any white or black person will be elected president of this country within the near future. It does kind of grate, sometimes. Being a minority sucks, but it's something I chose in 1975.
"NOP (GREETING). is a way Lao people greet one another. Nop is the joining of both. hands with palms touching accompanied. by a greeting or a salutation. ..."
It's been a hard campaign. I had to struggle not to give in to hate -- and now that it's over -- I'll have to fight not to give in to bitterness.
I'll be alright. I'll be damned if I give jackasses the pleasure of seeing me without my head held high.
I don't claim to know, either, but I'll tell you what I thought:
The campaign was over, at that minute. After 2 years of campaigning the act of campaigning had (probably) become an end in itself. "We need to get over the finish line" had just been transformed into "I have a whole bunch of people depending on me" in a matter of a few hours.
That's a lot of weight to have bearing down on you.
It wasn't so much a revelation as a "wow, I'm actually standing here" moment that requires hero-worship to be exchanged for empathy to understand. He's just a man, who relies on friends and family at times, to get through a rough day. Or, at least, he was a week and a half ago.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'd have been scared shitless. Not about giving the speech. The crowd loved him no matter what he said, and he knew it. But tomorrow is already on it's way...
I'd kinda want to take a day or two off after a 2 year campaign. Relax a little. Regroup my thoughts. (I've been posting nearly every day for almost 9 years, now. Not to mention my project is so close to done it may as well *be* done. I'm tired, myself, and unsure what I want to do next, and I'm not facing anything even remotely close to what he's facing.)
For the next 4 years his life is not his own. If he fucks up, he'll take the entire party, and all of the people who put so much of their heart and soul into electing him, down with him. He won't get a minute's rest.
His hair will turn gray.
His kids have to move.
His house will stand empty.
And when he comes out the other end, no matter how good or bad a job he does, he can never go home.
That's a whole lotta weight.
And the whole 9 yards of it hit him all at once that night.
Check out the second picture, here.
Then, maybe read this Kos diary where I got the link.
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