Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A New Day in America

I voted for Barack Obama, and I could not be happier that he won the 08 Presidential elections. I believe, naively but sincerely, that the United States may, under his leadership, regain her promise. I am unabashedly patriotic. I believe in American exceptionalism (which, by the way, does not mean we are exceptional in the sense of being the best, but that we are unique, a nation founded on principles rather than race or ethnicity), and I hold my country to a very high moral standard.

I see in Barack Obama a mixture of FDR and JFK, and if his initials didn’t refer to body odor, I would suggest we start referring to him as BO. But what moved me the most last night as I watched the election returns was the tears that African American reporters fought so hard to hold back.

You could hear their voices crack and their throats choke up. This was more than an election, more than a refutation of Reaganomics and Bush/Chaney excess; this was even more than the election of a black Democrat. This was an affirmation of the value of a people. This was white, Latino, Native, Jewish, and other Americans saying, “yes they can” to black folk. This was a turning point for America.

A turning point, not an arrival. Racism isn’t dead because a black man got elected president. But it is dying, and we can see it dying, and that should give us hope that we can be the people Abe Lincoln called us to be.

I don’t expect Barack Obama to work miracles. I do expect that most of his promises will be modified and some even set aside. But I trust him to do what is right; that is why I voted for him, and I can’t remember the last time I voted for a candidate because I trusted him. So my hopes are modest. Here are some of them:

My hope now is that John McCain returns to the Senate and makes his real voice heard and not the voice of the extreme right wing of his party that had taken control of his mouth for the past two years.

My hope now is that Governor Palin returns to Alaska, that Todd becomes head of the Alaska Freedom Party and that whole state succeeds from the Union so she will not run in 2012.

My hope now is that Kwanza will become part of the White House December Festival of Religions Whose Members Vote In Large Enough Numbers To Impact Future Elections.

My hope now is that whoever dressed Sarah Palin join the new First Lady’s staff and improve Michelle’s wardrobe.

My hope now is that the Obama girls (not THE Obama Girl) get a rescue dog rather than a pedigree pooch, and that they become spokesgirls for animal rescue.

My hope now is that Barack and Michelle continue to email me two or three times a day as they have since I first sent them money.

My hope now is that America will become America, and Joe the Plummer will just go away.

It is a new day in America. But you have the solar system to thank for that, not Barack Obama. So let’s keep our priorities straight. Barack is just one man, and, even though he is Hawaiian, he still isn’t Don Ho.


roy said...


Karen said...

I agree. It's been a long time since I've voted FOR someone instead of AGAINST someone else. I, too, trust Barack to use his wisdom to guide our country's future. And, seeing that he won the election by a wide enough margin that there can be no doubt that he was truly elected to be President, my faith in my fellow citizens has strengthened. After the previous two presidential elections, I was beginning to doubt the intelligence and deep thinking capabilities of about 50% of the population. I'm glad to see that we truly haven't lost those capacities!

The same is true between the Hagan/Dole campaign in NC. Hagan gained the U.S. Senate seat after a nasty battle with Dole, and she sunk to new lows with her final ads. That the citizens of NC could recognize the depths of her desperation and vote for Kay Hagan instead sent not only a strong message to Dole, but also one to me in that we haven't completely lost our discerning abilities. There is hope for my fine state yet! It's happening in baby steps...

Patti said...

Rami, this is picky - but I am distracted by your spelling of Barack as Barach. Over sight, typo or are you starting some kind of revolution?

Rabbi Rami said...

Patti-- Thanks for calling me on the misspelling. Every time I type Barack's name I think of "baruch" which is Hebrew for "blessed" that I type "ch" instead of "ck". I corrected it.

Rabbi Rami said...

Karen- I found the Dole ad about Hagan being "godless" to be obscene, and the fact that Elizabeth Dole sunk that low was astounding.

Eliza said...

I worry that America is expecting a fairytale's
happy awful expectation of greatness to fall on one man's shoulder.

Having said that, I feel hopeful for my childrens' and grandchildrens' futures.
We are growing up as a Nation,

jwa90010 said...

I agree with Eliza. Barack Obama has brought a breath of fresh air to politics. He has given us hope. But so many seem to see him as Messiah. It's a fearsome though that a great human being will later be judged as falling short because he wasn't the Mashiac (sp) that they believed him to be. While it is wonderful to think of what we may see for the future, it's going to be tough going. We need to give him some space to be human.

Also, like Rabbi Rami, I have thought of Baruch Obama. I'll bet the derivation of his name is the same, if someone one check it who knows how. May he be a blessing, indeed. And may we be, as well, following the example he has thus far shown.