Saturday, June 21, 2008


I guess it's been more than a little while since I've made a post here, so I guess I should get around to it.

So, we've survived the Democratic primary season and have a nominee.  Hillary made a hell of a run and I'll leave it at that, beyond saying that she should not be Barack's choice for the #2 spot.  A little personal note on the historic Obama nomination - besides enjoying being a participant in such an event, this will make just the 2nd time the person I first picked to support for the nomination actually won it.   To give some idea about my track record, the last time I supported the Democratic nominee from announcement to nomination was George McGovern in 1972.

I do, however, believe that I will be participating in a personal first this year - supporting a Democratic nominee from announcement to the White House

Why Obama from the start?

I was impressed by the man from when he gave the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic nomination, and no it wasn't because he was this enthralling speaker.  With over 30 years of Democratic activism under my belt, I've seen and heard better and worse than Obama.  What hooked me was the man's message, then and now.  The bottom line is this:  we can fight other Americans over the direction of the country forever, and stay bogged down, or we can start to come together and get things done.

I've done my share of battling with the right, online and otherwise, but most of the time I do respect the other side (excepting the genuine looney fringe who aren't conservative but all the way reactionary) for this - they, as well as us more to the left, are patriots who care deeply about the country.  We all want the best for it and us - we just disagree on how to get there.

As we approach the day the most divisive President in my lifetime finally leaves office, jumps into his pickup and drives off into the sunset, it's time to start thinking about how we really put this country back together.  Obama is certainly no messiah and, like most candidates, will be lucky if he gets half of what he wants to accomplished in even 8 years, but he does have the right idea here.  It's fun and games for some great argument therapy, but we really can't go on with the idea that one side is exclusively right and the other eternally wrong and evil.   Enough with the red/blue, right/left, con/lib warfare - disagree we will, but this doesn't have to be a mother of all battles all the time on every issue.

Going back to the first man I supported from the start to the nomination, George McGovern was asked about the two sides in the political debate.  Paraphrasing here, he said that we really need both in America - we need conservatives to slow things down when liberals get overzealous and we need liberals to speed things up when the conservatives drag their heels too much.

Not an unreasonable position if you ask me.

Of course, we're still going to have to deal with the haters on the right.  Even if we do get it back together, there'll still be the Coulters, Limbaughs, Savages etc. trying their damndest to tear it back apart.  I'm old enough to remember when those types were considered to be nothing but hateful crackpots, deserving of nothing more than ridicule and dismissal.  And as the once-powerful voices like the John BirchersKKK etc. faded away, so will these.  We do go through these cycles from time to time, and their day in the sun is starting to go dark as it beginning to get brighter on our side.

About time too.

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