Vincent S. Moore Presents:
Fear And Loathing, Hope And Wonder On The Campaign Trail ‘08: The Afterglow And The Anticipation
Like so many others this past week, I witnessed history.
History made when Barack Obama officially won and accepted the nomination of the Democratic Party for President of the United States.
In many places across this great country, his acceptance speech, coming on the 45th anniversary of the march on Washington, felt like a dream fulfilled. In contrast to the many times the dreams of generations of African Americans have been deferred for various reasons.
The dream may be achieved.
However, the dream is not completely fulfilled.
For Obama still has to win the election and become President.
The road to the White House still has two months’ travel time to go and many more people to be won over to his cause.
And a cause it is. The greatest cause of all: the renewal of the American Promise, to borrow Obama’s catch phrase.
The last eight years have seen America and the American Promise take far too many hits. Too many rabbit punches and body blows have left many of us feeling as bloodied as Rocky Balboa fighting Apollo Creed or George Foreman fighting Muhammad Ali. The irony of Hurricane Gustav hitting the Gulf Coast three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the day the Republican National Convention would have opened does not escape me or others. I would be tempted to call it karma, but it is difficult to crow when people are suffering. A lesson the Republicans themselves have learned the hard way. As of this writing, the RNC will effectively close down, doing only necessary business. And our current president, Mr. Bush, is going to his Texas home, to be close to the areas hit by the storm, to be doing something this time out rather than the barely nothing the last time. For a change.
Once the storms have passed (hard to say as weather reports are currently predicting a number of new hurricanes forming in the Atlantic with landfalls coming who knows where), the race for the White House will return to its more normal shape.
Although how normal can we consider this particular race when Barack Obama is making history as the first African American candidate from any major political party and Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska is doing so as the first woman chosen as vice presidential running mate for the Republicans.
Yet, it is all too easy to call McCain’s pick of Palin cynical. For it is a play to those still disgruntled Hillary Clinton voters to complete their announced decision via polls to vote for McCain. By putting Palin on the ticket, McCain is essentially offering those women and men that wanted so badly to see a woman president now a chance to see that happen within as little as four years. If the rumors of McCain running for one term are true, that is. It is a brilliant play. Or will be, if it works. If it fails, then McCain will be blamed for daring too much for the Republican base. Let alone with those independent voters to whom he often appeals.
The very same independents Obama will have to appeal to in a number of swing states in order to win the campaign.
With the speech in Denver last week, it is amazing to see how far America and African-Americans have come in their relationship with each other. How far yet how far we still have to go. Because many white Americans over the age of 50 simply cannot allow themselves to consider Barack Obama a viable candidate for office. Because he is black and that is code for inferior. Or worse, that Obama’s win would usher in a time of revenge upon whites by blacks. As if there was something that needed to be avenged. But those doubts and fears are limiting Obama’s reach, moving it far beyond the grasp of his campaign. So, as usual, he will have to work twice and thrice as hard as other candidates in order to get enough votes to win.
The American Promise in action, I guess.
I was speaking with a friend last night about the campaign. She shared with me what may be a common occurrence across this great land these days. She told me that the wait for November 4th to arrive would just about kill her. That she couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen and if Obama would win or it would be McCain. I would imagine this is a common feeling for many Americans. Anxious to see which direction our country will take. Can we move beyond the legacy of the last eight years and heal this land? Or will we continue on the current trajectory? For, despite all the hype of his being a maverick, John McCain is only such in comparison to the rest of his party. Is McCain a maverick when compared to the Democrats? I’ll leave that as an exercise for the readers to perform themselves.
For now, the race to the White House has truly begun.
We know who is running from each side.
We know, for the most part, what is at stake.
We are ready for change. Now it is merely a matter of deciding what kind of change we want and what are we willing to work for.
And we are watching history being made.
Now is the time to make some.
In the weeks to come, I will blog more about the campaign. So go to papadocabraxas.blogspot.com for updates.
And I’ll be back here in two weeks.
Take care, folks.
Namaste.Vincent S. Moore
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