A Reason for Hope
In the middle of the Clintons' primary struggle to take away the people's nomination of Barack Obama, I threatened to resign from the Democratic Party if they succeeded. Between them and their cohorts they had the means in their grasp.
All in all, I woke up Election Day with what was my respect for the system and its leaders dried up, and there wasn't much to start. I heard nothing that might serve to restore my childhood's Democratic saints. But then adults and kids alike had trouble differentiating between God and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Programs like W.P.A. could have been a heavenly touch to Americans struggling to survive.
In many eyes, and not simply those colored brown, Barack Hussein Obama appears a savior. Someone who can lead us from the dreadful mess men have made of this world.
His victory Tuesday was over a modern version of the Sanhedrin: politics and government as confused and corrupt as ancient Jerusalem's ruling body. The republic's Good Ol' Boys are, by their very nature, dedicated to the proposition that good intentions are immediately suspect. All proposals and propositions must be judged, in advance, how much they will line the G.O.B.'s pockets. We've come to that.
As I wrote this week, the former First Lady was a quintessential good ol' boy with different plumbing. Any illusions her husband might be better were smashed on the primary campaign trail. He may have more baldly lied before, but I didn't catch him.
No one can doubt that Sen. John McCain is a good guy. He has a certain political shrewdness that could be mistaken for intelligence. In reaching for Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, he reached too far; she gave no evidence of even basic maturity to pay heed to seasoned advisers. However much she grew in recent months, Ms. Palin was selected for the ticket with hopes of attracting disillusioned Hillary-ite feminists.
After all these years I am not so naive to believe Mr. Obama's presidency will be lobbyist-free. But the intellect America saw on display these last couple of years will be able to differentiate the measures and programs that are good for America. And what are not the products of partisanship and selfish special interests. Of course I can't be sure.
The last politician who promised reformation along the federal halls of power drowned on his own greed. After the election I supported Newt Gingrich on his pledge to straighten out a government most concerned with itself. But his Contract with America turned out to be no more than demagogic nonsense to give him access to publishers. Replacing elevator operators and ushers with more politically reliable counter-parts, trading favors for personal profit. We need radically different ways to serve the people's needs.
Tuesday's election victory was only possible because voters understood and accepted that the republic was in serious danger of imploding. The way the need was presented by Barack Obama was crucial.
And there's my point, I am unwilling to accept the junior senator from Illinois as the man who presented himself at the proverbial "right time." He could be more. At a time the nation, and the world, threaten to come apart, his personal racial melding symbolizes real hope.