Tuesday, June 03, 2008

A great night

Is Terry McCauliffe certifiably loony? He certainly seems so to me, especially as he came across on the Daily Show this evening. Hillary is going to the White House? Maybe as V.P., but even that seems unlikely.

Anyway, it’s over. At least I think it’s over. Most people seem to think it’s over. But it’s a long, long way from June to November and anything can happen. I just hope that Obama can stay healthy in both body and soul until the election. I must say I am very proud at the moment to be an American. After eight years of absolute disgrace under Bush/Cheney it may be, as Obama says, the moment. I do believe that Obama has the potential to become one of our truly great Presidents (assuming he gets elected). This is a potential that is not shared by either Hillary Clinton or John McCain. They could probably act as Presidents, and perhaps manage to get a few things done, but neither of them seem to indicate a potential for unusual greatness. Obama has that potential. Whether he can manage to make the great changes we so desperately need we will only know in the future. If he gets a Democratic House and Senate he may truly perform the monumental task of cleaning up after Bush/Cheney, a task I would hardly wish on anyone. But even if he fails to become President (unlikely, I think), or even if he becomes President and fails to do truly great things, he has already achieved greatness as the first African-American to seriously approach the Presidency of the greatest country in the world. I wonder how many young people realize just what a magnificent event this is. While racism still exists in our country, and sexism too, we have, in fact, come a very long way. Even when I was a young man it would have been inconceivable that an African-American could ever have become President. I doubt the thought ever crossed anyone’s mind. Racial segregation was still just an ordinary fact of life in the South, and it wasn’t much better in the North. This was before Martin Luther King, Selma, civil rights, and etc. I can well understand how older women must feel about Hillary Clinton. Many of them were born before women even had the right to vote. No wonder they are upset at the turn of events. We have, in truth, come a very long way with respect to both racism and sexism. Obama’s nomination is a culmination of these monumental changes in our culture. I believe we should be proud that a majority of Americans were able to overcome racial myths and animosities and offer the Presidency to a member of our most visible minority. Obama is more than just a candidate for President, he’s a symbol of the American melting pot, a symbol of what is possible for all Americans, no matter what their race.

Similarly, Hillary Clinton is a symbol of just how far women have come in the past few decades. She certainly has, as Obama observed, done something no other women has ever done. I am saddened, however, by my belief that she has acted in some ways that do not reflect much credit on her gender, trying to change the rules, changing her mind, acting illogically and even unreasonably at times, and so on. Unfortunately, some of her female supporters are also acting as unreasonably bad losers. One of them, for example, in an hysterical fit of pique, announced that Obama was “an inadequate black male.” Yes, an inadequate black male that outorganized, outperformed, and outsmarted one of the best political machines in history. Hysteria used to be considered a female problem, caused by a “wandering uterus.” I wonder how it comes about in people like Bill O’Reilly?

“I too shall lie in the dust when I am dead, but now let me win noble renown.”

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