I'm sitting here again, in my living room, having a beer, thinking and wondering.
I'm thinking about what Barack Obama might say tomorrow. I'm wondering if it will be strong enough, pure enough, true enough to halt the arrows of hate that are about to be let loose in this country.
I'm thinking about the true meaning of patriotism. I'm wondering if to truly be a patriot, one has to be strong enough to condemn one's country for its wrongs while still loving it for its good.
I'm thinking about the meaning of prophecy. I'm wondering what an atheist like myself is doing thinking about prophecy; I can't help but wonder (here we go again) if Obama's words tomorrow might not be some kind of prophecy for this country.
Where do we go from here? What is the future of America? What price, what tolls, what pains are we willing to pay, to endure, for this country of ours?
Me? I dunno. I want so much for this country and for my fellow Americans (I feel like Nixon now!), so much that it hurts me inside. I want us to rise up from the mire of our current political crisis and I want us to show the world the true good heart of America, but I'm desperately afraid. Afraid that we can't do it. Afraid that our own fears will rise up against us. Afraid of fear itself.
What was it FDR said again?
Postcript: It's afternoon now and Obama gave his speech this morning. I've read it but I haven't watched it yet.
Was it a good speech, was it good enough? Yes, I think so. He surprised me several times with the direction he went in, pushing my estimation of his intelligence and sincerity up several levels. Obama looked more closely and directly at the problems and issues of race in America than any elected politician has ever done, I believe. At least in a public speech.
It took courage and it took fortitude for Obama to make this address. Some were predicting that the best thing he could do would be to wait this campaign crisis out and hope it would blow over. But Obama realized that this is not merely a crisis of his campaign - it is a crisis of the nation. And he stepped up to the podium and took charge, offering a new way for us to think and talk about race as Americans. Think about this for one moment. Isn't this the kind of man we want as our President? It's what I want, I know.
The more I read or hear Obama's "words," the more I realize why I'm attracted to his campaign. Obama is a punk. A smart, tough, DIY-punk - honest, caring and smart as hell like all the best punks I've ever met. And ready and willing do what needs to be done to open eyes and minds. He probably doesn't have any New York Dolls or Stooges or VU or Sex Pistols on his I-Pod, but he's got 'em in his heart.
Vote Punk - Vote Obama!