May 3, 2008



David E. Washburn

I believe that Barack Obama represents our last chance to redeem ourselves as a nation and realize the promise of our birth as a country “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” In his person he epitomizes the dream of a multicultural democracy in which none are left behind nor shut out; a country in which all people unite for a common purpose: justice for all; a country which, once again, becomes a beacon of hope for all the world. He offers us the opportunity to expiate the sins which have hindered our progress toward the possibilities embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States; the mistakes we have made, from slavery to the war in Iraq; the movement away from “we the people” to corporate dominance of the policy making process which blocks too many of us from realization of the American Dream.

In a way, the privilege of voting for Barack Obama is an act of purification. It fills us with the “audacity of hope.” Through his veins course the bloodlines of the peoples of the world. His DNA represents us all. We can all achieve our dreams. We can save the world from the disasters that we glimpse upon the horizon. Our plight does not have to mirror that of all the great nations that have come before us. They all failed as a result of military over-expansion and the quest for empire, which resulted in economic catastrophe. We, as a nation, are well along that road.

We can foresee a modest foreign policy as extolled by George Washington, in which we are one among many nations, leading the way by providing an example of what can be achieved through cooperation and love of humankind, through liberty, justice and equality, rather than the subjugation of peoples to our whims by force. We can visualize saving America by blunting the power of the overlapping circles of influence: corporate, political, and military. We citizens can envision other politicians like Barack Obama, more concerned with solving problems than with positioning themselves for the next election. This is a daunting task in a political system awash in corporate money. We can entertain the notion that our leaders will take on the special interests and end the war in Iraq through diplomacy, focus on international cooperation in the war on terror, solve the illegal immigration crisis, restore the peoples’ constitutional freedoms, establish a health-care system, available to all, which is geared toward serving the needs of the public rather than the profits of the corporations, work toward energy independence, fight global warming, restore the decaying national infrastructure while creating jobs, revitalize public education, and avert the upcoming financial crisis.

Barack Obama has exhibited the capacity to guide us through the sacrifices necessary to solve these problems by appealing to our hopes rather than our fears. He can articulate our possibilities. He can inspire us to greatness. He can move us to action.

To give in to the obfuscaters, the fear merchants, the haters, the trivializers, the selfish interests of the power elite, all those who wish to confuse and manipulate the American people to the end of maintaining the status quo will damn us as a nation. We are now on the precipice. We can move toward a realization of the American Dream by electing our first multicultural president who has the special talents and background to lead us up that mountain to higher ground, or we can succumb to “business as usual” and continue on the path to perdition.

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