Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Crossing Rubicons

Once I knew the President had won re-election, the details didn't matter. I was proud of his toughness, his grace under pressure, but mostly relieved that the nation did not succumb to the siren song of a chameleon. So I went to sleep. Sometime in the night my wife woke me just to say how splendid was Obama's victory speech. I made a mental note to listen to it later and promptly went back to sleep. It moved higher on my to-do list after I read this description by Andrew Sullivan from The Daily Beast:

The American President


"The president's oration was almost a summation of his core belief: that against the odds, human beings can actually better ourselves, morally, ethically, materially, and we can do so more powerfully together than alone, and that nowhere exemplifies that endeavor more than America. It was Lincolnian in its cadences, and in some ways, was the final, impassioned, heart-felt rebuke to all those, including his opponent, who tried to portray him as somehow un-American. How deeply that must have cut. How emphatically did he rebut the charge.

What he reminded me of was how deeply American he actually is - how this country's experiment truly is in diversity as well as democracy. And his diversity is not some cringe-worthy 1990s variety. It is about being both white and black, both mid-Western and Hawaiian, both proudly American and yet also attuned to the opinion of mankind.

…One felt something tectonic shift tonight. America crossed the Rubicon of every citizen's access to healthcare, and re-elected a black president in a truly tough economic climate. …Women, in particular, moved this nation forward - pragmatically, provisionally, sensibly. They did so alongside the young whose dedication to voting was actually greater this time than in 2008, the Latino voters who have made the current GOP irrelevant, and African-Americans, who turned up in vast numbers, as in 2008, to put a period at the end of an important sentence.

That sentence will never now be unwritten. By anyone."

To read the Sullivan piece in its entirety, including his observations about Romney's concession, go hereAnd I loved the picture contained in the last sentence of this column by Howard Fineman:
"… U.S. Census numbers tell the story. In the first decade of the new millennium, the Asian-American population rose 43.3 percent, the African-American population 12.3 percent, the Latino community 43 percent -- and the white population just 5.7 percent.

To be sure, the president won because of his stand on the issues -- health care reform, Wall Street regulation, the auto industry bailout, among others. But his victory is something more: a sense that we are all in this together as a society, no matter who we are or how we live our lives.

I saw this new America at the heart of the Obama reelection effort, in their campaign offices. In one office in Virgina, for example, the local campaign manager was Pakistani-American, the volunteers were of every race and background, the people heading out to handle the signup drive were Hispanic, and the event they were working on was a concert by Bruce Springsteen."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I truly cannot see how Pres Obama is bettering himself morally - or our nation -- with his extreme support of abortion rights, to the point of federal tax dollars allocated without our say so. And the lack of respect for religious organizations who choose not to pay for abortion services and contraception through their insurance plans. I find his moral compass to be one that is atrocious on these issues and other cultural stances.