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To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it; I believe it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Opportunity of Lifetimes

No need for backdrop on the current status of the Democratic Primary needed. My thoughts, especially in light of The Field’s ‘you have to start somewhere’ commentary, wandered about in my mind. What is my other option in November?

I am ideologically on the other side of the state from McCain, and he probably couldn’t care less. I find the whole ‘Bush-Clinton-Clinton-Bush-Bush-Clinton monarchy equally unappealing (and just plain wrong when you think about it, if anyone would ever stop to think about it). A third party would be great and I would be on board, but it is improbable at best, though not impossible.

So in truth my options are limited, in fact, singular. I can only vote for Barack Obama. If his name is on the ballot, or if I have to write him in myself, I will cast my vote, a right purchased for me with the blood of ancestors who knew that I would never take it for granted, for the only candidate can help us do the impossible.

And if we in these United States, don’t come together to elect this individual, if we do not find a way to choose as our next leader an individual who has energized previously dormant swaths of the electorate (young and old alike) with a simple call to community and civic service, who has re-invented the entire game in terms of political campaign financing by allowing people with less than five dollars to have a real stake in this campaign, who has implemented a strategy that rests on (gasp!) the collective needs of all portions of the electorate as opposed to the top 18 percent or the ‘big states’, who has demonstrated the ability to build working coalitions and bring about meaningful and useful public policy on issues that matter, who has exhibited a enormous amount of grace under fire and dignity under duress, who has come through an unnecessarily evil and ugly season with preserved integrity, who knowingly puts life and limb on the line for the like and love of this country, if we do not find a way to elect him, and are only able to offer as our best excuse, the color of his skin, then shame on US, and sorry is our future.

No one individual in particular will suffer from the inability of the US to move forward. But everyone in general will have missed out on what can only be called the opportunity of lifetimes. And the consequences will be devastating, far-reaching, and painfully long-term.

The truly regretfully part will be that we in these United States have been at similar junctures before; where fate, or decency, or dumb luck has offered up a chance for this country to live up to its true creed; we are provided at fleeting intervals, occasion to do the right thing. And, with a predictable regularity, we rarely miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. We are slow to pass up a chance to pass up a chance. If there is one thing that we do with consistency, confidence and pride, is snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Let it not be so this time.

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