Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Sometimes, the Real Sign of Hope Comes from Losers

Obama's victory speech was inspiring. I think he's the most charismatic politician to come upon the national scene since JFK.

But sometimes, the real sign of hope comes from the losing side. John McCain, George Bush, and Condoleezza Rice all impressed me when I heard them speak this morning. They all showed class, and they all showed themselves capable of rising to the occasion. They all acknowledged the historical importance of this election: for the first time, the United States has elected a man of color to the highest office in the land.

In 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. The opening sentence is perhaps the best-known of any American political document: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . .

I can remember reading those words in junior high, and thinking that the beliefs and actions of so many made those words ring hollow. The words "all men are created equal" seemed tantamount to a cruel joke.

But not today. No, not today.


13 comments:

Annie said...

Isn't it amazing? Within my lifetime - a person of color (any color except white) couldn't use a public bathroom or drinking fountain in the south...And now look at this! Amazing. During my years as a foster parent (when we were adopting our kids) I fostered two African-American children, and really saw and heard the racism that is still unfortunately so rampant in our part of the state.

Hal Johnson said...

You're right, Annie. Racism is still very much alive in our part of the state. Of course, lots of hard-core racists come from families where the most common question asked by kids is, "Daddy, if you and Mama get divorced, will she still be your sister?"

Bob said...

Umm, err...well, the opening sentence of the second paragraph perhaps. First there was that whole, "When in the Course of Hunan events" preamble thingee, which makes me wonder if they were ordering spicy Chinese food.

I think we're making too big a deal about Obama's race. It should be a footnote, not an Issue. He's as American as any of us. "Man of color," I can dig it, yo. But I do not identify myself as Irish-American, and I bristle at those who would do otherwise. You can't be the "same, but different."

Ooooh, grrrrr, I feel a blogpost of my own coming on! Thanks, Hal. Thanks for getting me all riled up now.

Uncle E said...

GOD, Hal, I nearly wet myself!

Hal Johnson said...

"Umm, err...well, the opening sentence of the second paragraph perhaps."

Thanks for the correction, Bob. So much for my recall and attention to detail.

You're one conservative who proves that the tag, "compassionate conservative" needn't be an oxymoron, so I'm looking forward to your post.

Hal Johnson said...

Sheesh, Bob, the photo didn't come through with your comment, and I thought it was the Bob from Tennessee posting that. But hey, I think the "compassionate conservative" tag applies to you to, even if you ARE one of those Irish-American bastards from New York.

Heh. I really like myself when I'm obnoxious.

Debby said...

Racism is such a part of the culture where I live that really, even if President Obama did not point out he was African American, there'd be plenty of people to point that fact out, just to make sure that nobody missed it.

McCain was very gracious. It is not a time for bi-partisanship.

Algernon said...

Pretty neat, huh.

Bob said...

"Sheesh, Bob, the photo didn't come through with your comment, and I thought it was the Bob from Tennessee posting that."

Them's fighting words, man. But hey, what's up with that? I'm going to see if there's something I can click in Blogger to make my whole name come through, like yours does.

"But hey, I think the "compassionate conservative" tag applies to you to, even if you ARE one of those Irish-American bastards from New York.

Heh. I really like myself when I'm obnoxious."


Oh, but you must LOVE yourself then!

Respectfully,
Bob B.
Irish-American Bastard from N.Y.
(Just to be clear)

Bob Barbanes said...

Figured it out ;)

Kelly said...

Gee, I think I enjoyed the comments to this post as much as the post itself!!

Quite entertaining!!

Redlefty said...

Reminds me of the scene in "See No Evil, Hear No Evil", with Richard Pryor as the blind man:

"You mean I'm black! This can't be! This is terrible! Why didn't anybody tell me this before!"

Bob said...

Thanks for the compliment Hal.

As you for you, Bob B . . . :-)

Thanks for a great laugh tonight guys.

Congrats to President-elect Obama. I am disappointed . . . you all know I was for McCain . . . but the people have spoken.

What a country.