Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'm Not Lou Dobbs

John Weber:
Editors Screed


I’m not Lou Dobbs and I’m not Joe the Plumber, so when it comes to political knowledge I’m somewhere in between: smart enough to cover my butt-crack but too busy to follow things full time.

Still, I can tell which way the wind’s blowing and the difference between something real and media-manufactured (I think) and here’s what I think of Barack Obama, the training-wheels senator bold enough to sail either the Amistad or the floundering U.S. through Katrina-like waters: he’s just what we need. Not “we” the U.S., you understand, or even “we” its allies; but for the first time, “WE” as in THE WORLD.

And demonstrably, I’m not alone in this, as millions of pilgrims made their way to Washington while a billion more tuned in worldwide. Thank God, we’re all saying, for this genuine black man. Thank God for his intellect, his candor, his fitness, his smile. Thank God for his ability to visibly think before speaking and his understanding that speaking—with minorities and power brokers, enemies and allies alike—is the key to solving the myriad illnesses—greed, distrust, inequity, violence—that so ail the world.

Thank God for his youth, thank God for his quiet strength, thank God he’s not George Bush, or any other politician that’s made the term such a dirty, distrustful word for so long.
But will it all be enough, I ask? Can Obama’s twin philosophies of partnership and sacrifice reverse the ill-will (hell, hatred) fostered by years of Republican-fueled, Cheney-driven, America-first foreign policy? Will there be time for his ‘Yes, We Can’ mantra to take hold, to become more than just a five-second sound-bite in a four year minefield certain with media muck-raking, Democratic in-fighting, Republican antagonism, foreign conflict and world-wide economic turmoil?

We’ll see, I think, we’ll see. But for the first time in a long time—like many—I’m hopeful.
Hopeful that Obama will make decisions based on what’s good for the world as opposed to what’s good for the super-rich—the powerful A-list Americans and friends that created this mess in the first place. Hopeful that Obama will re-interpret MAD Magazine’s little ditty—“Diplomacy is to do and say, the nastiest thing in the nicest way”—and win people over with tough, transparent, responsible decisions, rather than the back-room deal-making we’ve long come to dread. Hopeful that the joy I watched during the pre-inauguration ceremonies—a group of spirited, teen black boys singing and dancing in a way that most of us only wish we could—will somehow take hold of our Caucasian, constipated culture so that white men really can jump (and sing and smile and dance) with the same unencumbered, genuine, money-be-damned spirit.
But like I said, I’m not Lou Dobbs. I’m not a political insider. I don’t know the intricacies of the Supreme Court or Senate, blue states from red, that make Obama’s present hold on the world something more than a naïve, starry-eyed fairytale. I’m just a guy caught up in the spirit of things. A little afraid but spurred on by his daughter’s smiling/fearless thumbs up; buoyed like Beyonce with Obama-bred confidence to “want to be smarter and do better for this man”, to join in with those rollicking black kids, bursting with pride and potential, beaming as they . . . I . . . WE continue to sing:

“You broke it down.
No limits anymore.
O-BA-MA!
O-BA-MA!
Yes, We Can!”

1 comment:

Linda said...

You said it well and I couldn't have said it better. WE as a world is right. I have never asked God to protect any political person, prime minister or president in my life and I find myself daily asking God to protect Obama and his family and thanking him for the wisdom He has given him and is now bold enough to give to the world.