Wednesday, November 05, 2008

It's Good To Be In America, And To Be An American

by DM

In America you'll get food to eat
Won't have to run through the jungle
And scuff up your feet
You'll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day
It's great to be an American
Randy Newman, "Sail Away"

When I was a boy there were framed pictures of President John F. Kennedy in every home in my neighborhood, in every classroom of my Catholic school, and most barber shops, gas stations, and retail outlets. The portraits remained in place after Kennedy was assassinated. In some barber shops, stores and offices in Boston, the picture remains, now faded, wrinkled, cracked, discolored. My mother had a glossy framed picture of Kennedy hanging in our apartment, and I don't remember when she took it down. It was well after the assassination, but it was not hanging in our new apartment when we moved out of the projects in 1969.

I learned that Kennedy's election was an important milestone in American history. He was a social liberal and a pro-business liberal, and a Catholic. People had questioned his allegiance to the Constitution given his relationship with a foreign state, The Vatican.

He was a hero among white, Northern, liberal, Irish Catholics, who were in abundance in the early sixties, and a hero to disenfranchised Southern Christian blacks, who are still in abundance five decades later. His picture represented social change, improved living conditions, and hope for a better tomorrow.

Kennedy ushered in a new America, a Great Frontier, that was advanced by Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, transforming America into a world leader in freedom, government, economics, social services, education, science, medicine, arts, and every area in which we competed. We became a nation of many, a nation of inclusion. Even two terms of Richard Nixon's draconian domestic policies could not stop what was to rival FDR's New Deal as the most amazing success of social engineering ever seen by the human race. It was a success.

Then the politics of hate, greed, and fear-mongering brought us Ronald Reagan and the dismantling of the greatest government ever known in human history, our government. That has been followed by an additional twenty years of corporate anarchy, cynical hijacking of the government, and the theft of America's tax base, broadcast airwaves, treasury, and soul by the likes of the Bush family, the Clintons, Karl Rove, Donald Rumsfeld, Pat Buchanan, Jerry Falwell, and a cast of characters whose deaths will ensure plenty of seats in heaven for the rest of us.

In the wake of the last twenty-eight years of supply-side economics and the usurping of our judiciary by so-called "conservatives," America is in a shambles. George W Bush may have been sitting in the White House during the worst American crisis in our history, but he only continued the policies promoted by his father, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan.

I awoke yesterday excited about voting, and doubtful that a Democrat, in this time of "conservative" hoop-la, could win the White House. The Democrat is a pro-business, social liberal who believes the tax base should be spread proportionately among the haves and have-nots. I thought of the color of his skin and my analysis, based on fifty years of living all over the United States, was that America would not elect a black man.

I cast my vote and told my friends, as late as eight o'clock last night, that I did not think Barack Obama would be elected.

I spent the end of the night with my family, watching the results and listening to the pundits and comedians, and at 11:03 P.M. I heard words I never thought I would hear: "Barack Obama has been declared the winner and will be the next President-elect, and become the first African-American president."

I wept.

He didn't' squeak-by, either. My fellow citizens gave Obama a landslide victory and a mandate to effect change.

Sure, none of us really now what that change is; but, it will be different from we have now and that is a risk I am happy to take, and that the majority of Americans are willing to take.

Democrats also control more of the House and more of the Senate.

Four Senate races are still too close to call:

Four Senate races with Republican incumbents remained undecided, among them the contentious re-election bid by 84-year-old Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, the longest-serving Senate Republican, who was convicted last month of lying on Senate forms to hide favors he received from a contractor.

Races in Georgia, Oregon and Minnesota, where comedian Al Franken was battling incumbent Republican Sen. Norm Coleman, were too close to call.
See, Democrats pick up 5 Senate seats, gain in House

In Alaska, Republican convicted felon, incumbent Ted Stevens is in a "fight-for-his-life" against Democrat Mark Begich.

In Georgia, incumbent Saxby Chambliss is struggling to hold his seat in a race with Democrat Jim Martin.

In Oregon, incumbent Republican Gordon Smith is having trouble holding-back the surge of Demcorat Jeff Merkley.

In Minnesota, Republican clown Norm Coleman is trying to retain his seat in a race with comedian, Democratic Farm Labor candidate Al Franken.

With a mandate to change America already in hand, the Democrats could work more easily to reverse Reaganomics and destroy the notions of supply-side economics by taking these four seats.

As soon as practical, I will be getting a framed glossy picture of Barack Obama to hang on the wall of my apartment, so my daughter can see daily that in America anyone can realize their dream, that anyone can become President, that America isn't afraid of change, and that she can be proud of her nation, its citizens, her neighbors, her governors, and that she can live any dream she chooses.

This is a great day for the United States, and a great day for Americans, and a great day for the human race.

The greatest nation in the world has elected a man of color as its leader, and we are never turning back.

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1 comment:

gercasty said...

Eloquently put, as usual, Dickie boy. I wept, too.