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Barack Obama: A Celebration of America

October 15, 2008

There is a price to pay for progress and America is better for it.

There is an intellectual price to pay for progress. To that end, the evolution of America has created a tremor that is being felt across this nation and worldwide. Understanding the American ideal as I do, there is no clearer example of what the successful candidacy of Senator Barack Obama represents. It is not representative of who you are for, but what you are for. It is not tied to who you believe, but what you believe. It is the simple realization that many Americans and many global citizens must pause and seriously consider one of the base concepts of the American ideal: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal.” America has finally become the mother of all men that she was intended to be.

Removing the political lens is difficult enough for those of us who are immersed in the party logic of our choosing. As if this were not difficult enough, there are also many among us, impacted by history and social conditioning which cloud our appreciation of what the American ideal truly means. I am unquestionably among those who must for the first time consider the ramifications of what this campaign means. Regardless of the final outcome, the psyche of America has been inspected and exposed in a way that we have never seen before.

Although there remains stark contrasts between the competing parties, there is a momentum of trust and collaboration that has lifted Senator Obama’s campaign to the heights it has reached. What we do know is that there is a broad coalition of Americans who understand and accept the American ideal in the spirit in which it was intended. This campaign season has highlighted this in a way that has never previously been so clearly illuminated. Like a spotlight shining on a night sky, the wonderful, yet unforeseen message is clear. America has also moved into a new social millennium.

post racial campaign

post racial campaign

There has been much discussion about Senator Obama being a post racial candidate. I consider this a poor description of what we are witnessing. I would prefer to call him a trans-racial candidate. Trans-racial is also a more accurate description of what many in this nation have become. Certainly we must acknowledge that like those impacted by history and social , there are many on both sides who can only appreciate this political contest on racial terms.

The greater significance is the millions of voters who have the ability to view this American leadership example without being impacted by any tint of ethnicity. The implications of what we are witnessing are historic and yet shocking for all of the wrong reasons. Yet I admit that personally digesting this exciting event as something conceivable had not been anticipated in the course of my lifetime. There is absolutely no basis for any rational discussion about Senator Obama’s candidacy on purely racial terms. I often find myself wondering if the politics and the ethnically partisan ideals as presented in the media will continue to overshadow the unveiling of the beautiful soul of this nation. This is the new American story that must continue to be told. It is not the racial impacts that are exciting about this campaign season. For me, it is the lack of racial impacts among so many Americans of good character that should be remembered and appropriately acknowledged.

victory

victory

I believe that Senator Obama will win the presidency of the United States primarily because he has conducted a far better campaign than his opponent. Secondly, the record of the Republican incumbent has plunged the GOP into an abyss that has them groping for political daylight on nearly every issue. These primary truths can be argued from various perspectives but they are insignificant among irrationals. As bright as the message of the day is resulting from Senator Obama’s current success, we have still had more than a glimpse of America’s dark under belly. The political and racial tensions that have bubbled to the surface in this campaign remind us that the evolution of America continues. As shocking as the ugliness may be at times, we must be heartened and reminded that those among us who remain blindfolded by fear and intolerance are being banished to the outskirts of our society.

Yes, there is an intellectual price to pay for progress. I am at a loss to imagine the scope of fear and anger that some currently demonstrate and personally endure for no imaginable reason. If only such people were smart enough to recognize tactics of manipulation or the powerful demons of negative emotion. In our mass media existence, one would imagine that reasonable people would understand the limits of power that any American or any President might possess.

What is it really that causes otherwise reasonable people such consternation over the thought of a President Obama? Could it be something as simplistic as a twisted vision of American exceptionalism that has become individualized? This exceptionalism provides for a singular model of not only what an American President represents but also what he looks like or what his name sounds like. The exceptionalism that is rooted in the history of a fledgling nation says: this is how we do it in America, and this is what the important people look like in America. Most importantly, this exceptionalism permits some of our citizens to overlook or ignore the vital tenet of equality in this our wonderful “land of opportunity”. As painful as it may be for some to acknowledge, America means opportunity for everyone.

I am already celebrating. The outcome of this election may prove to be in line with my partisan wishes. This will only be cause for considerable further satisfaction. I am celebrating now because I have borne witness to the evolution of America. A fantastic transition to social trans-racialism that is building in scope and intensity. This is not an event driven by party or preference but rather events destined to unfold when our founding documents were conceptualized. This nation has endured much and there have been both heroes’ tragic victims. There has been both crisis and miscarriage of justice. Without question there has been progress. Broad progress has strengthened the foundation of this country. This is not the time to ponder what remains to be done or what battles remain to be fought. This is not the time to hold up any one person or this campaign season as the reason for what we have come to realize.

This is the time for all people of good will to take stock of what America was intended to be, to recognize that many of us have played a part in demonstrating to all of the country and the world that in America, anyone who is deserving can be lifted by her citizens into the seat of power. There can be no more powerful demonstration of freedom.

There is irony in the fact that Americans politics caused me and hopefully many others to focus or the social growth that this nation has achieved. After all it had been largely politicians who orchestrated the suppression of our social spirit throughout our history. Once again, the vision of the founding fathers has been realized and surely in greater magnitude than they might even have imagined. Americans have bound themselves together in with the threads of the flag and used the power of the vote to make their voices heard. We have made a choice of leadership to represent us and we have unquestionably done so with clear eyes. This is much more than a time to simply consider politics. This is America’s coming out party. For so many Americans it is a searing statement of the American ideological spirit. Indeed, “We hold these truths to be self evident”.

After a lifetime of lifetimes, in spite of it all, we are privileged to witness is a “Celebration of America”. Good for you America… good for you.

L. A. Walker, © Leon A. Walker

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