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Obama will usher in a new chapter in American history
One OpinionNovember 11, 2008 | 3,898 views | 32 comments
“America seems to have lost its way,” writes Chuck Norris in his new book. “As a people, we seem more divided than ever before.”
Will all this divisiveness change with the election of the first black president of the United States? At any rate, that is the hope of those voting for Barack Obama. It wasn’t that long ago, that blacks and women were not even allowed to vote. Now the glass ceiling has been broken. Hillary Clinton came close to being nominated -- and likely would have been elected -- as the first woman president. Sarah Palin came close to being the first woman vice president.
It’s grand to usher in a new chapter in history -- one of inclusiveness. At long last, white Americans can cleanse themselves of guilt stemming from the history of slavery.
As President Reagan liked to say, it’s morning in America, and this new dawn is brought about because this “change” brings an African-American family into the White House, not as servants, but as the official residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The country -- no, the world -- awaits as events unfold. The challenges are many, as were the promises made during an impassioned campaign. Not all will agree with Obama’s political policies, of course, and it remains to be seen how much of the campaign rhetoric will actually become policy.
Certainly those who contributed the $650 million to his campaign will exert great pressure on him to deliver on those promises, but once inside the White House, things change. That’s because when candidate Obama made those promises, he was not privy to information that will be available to President Obama.
With the worldwide economic crisis, two wars, and America’s own fiscal dilemmas, the pressure on President Obama will be extreme from all sides.
Some may hold out hope that his policies might be more centrist as, in the latter part of his campaign, his messages were more toward the center. Bill Clinton similarly campaigned to the center, and I remember hoping at the time that he might carry through with some of those more conservative-sounding promises, but, alas -- it was not to be. Only time will tell where a President Obama leads this country.
Race was not the only historical aspect of this campaign. It also saw record amounts of money raised, record numbers of impassioned young followers, unprecedented use of the Internet, and the complacency of the media.
Questions remain: Will it now be easier for whites to criticize blacks, or will it still be OK to criticize a black only if it is a conservative such as Condi Rice?
Will Obama’s election bring an end to the cries of racism brought against anyone who disagrees politically with someone who happens to be black? Let’s hope that this election will mean that we can, once and for all, participate in dialogues that discuss political philosophy without being called a racist.
Will this election mean that the Jesse Jacksons of the world will realize that their brash, outward hostility toward society is no longer necessary, as blacks have been legitimized with a vote of confidence from the majority of Americans?
Could this, in fact, mean that reports about someone arrested -- or someone recognized for their achievements -- no longer have to include the caveat that he is a “black man” as opposed to just being “the man”? This would be a good thing, as we are tired of being sliced and diced by the media.
The message from this White House must transcend all this in order to heal and unite this country as Obama promised throughout the campaign.
Let us hope and pray that our leaders find a way to heal this great divide.
For as much as I want to assuage my own white guilt and accept this man as our leader, there are real doubts and disagreements about his philosophies and his scant record.
Still, we recognize his assignment and give him the benefit of the doubt as well as our support and our prayers. We pray that he will be successful in his leadership because, if he is not, our country suffers.
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