Barack Obama, whose initials alone will preclude his ever being elected president of the United States, announced that he is formally exploring a run for the presidency in 2008. Like so many others I love BO. True, I know little of what he stands for, but that doesn’t matter. He is young, handsome, cool, hip, and black. For the moment that is plenty.
But as much as I am happy to raise my arms and shout, I love BO (is this joke getting stale?), I am even more happy to shout “I love America.” I am so proud to be an American. Yes, we are screwing up royally in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Palestine, Syria, Darfur, and probably a dozen other places of which I am unaware, there is something very exciting going on as we move into the presidential race of 2008.
Look at the likely candidates from the Democratic Party alone: Hillary Clinton, a woman; Barack Obama, an African American; Bill Richardson, a Hispanic; John Edwards, a WASP. What other country has such diversity? If we could get Joe Liberman to run again and add a Native American to the mix, you would have to vote Democratic just to make history. Of course you couldn’t vote for Edwards, but we could make him a secretary of something or other.
Can you imagine a Native American and Jewish Joe winning the White House? They could pay off our national debt through casino and bingo winnings alone. And I would love to see a National Totem Pole next to the Nation’s Christmas Tree and Menorah.
But I’m serious: what other country could do this? Sure, Israel had Golda, India had Gandhi, and England had Maggie, but none of them was Hispanic. The fact that we can field a diverse slate of candidates like this says more about us than any foreign policy madness coming out of the White House.
I am deeply saddened by and angered over American foreign policy. But I am proud to be an American. I don’t think we can or should promote American values in other countries; I do think we have to protect our civil liberties in the face of an emerging American fascism hiding behind fear of Islamic terrorism and insane notions such as The War on Christmas. And I am proud that we have not abandoned our true values— not the narrow minded heretic hunting witch burning values of the Puritans, but the liberal values of the Enlightenment that laid set in motion a country that is devoted to putting the ax to sexism, racism, anti-Semitism, etc.
With our values in place, I am confident we can survive the last years of neo-con madness with our souls intact.