Monday, November 10, 2008
Seed of pride
Like any good liberal, I question everything. And most especially, I question my own convictions. Constantly. Agonizingly.
I know that the opinions I hold on one day may very well be starkly different at some point in the future. Even my most cherished ideals will be bombarded by disillusionment, by stark reality, by the indifference of a cold, ever-expanding Universe. (We are angst-ridden souls, we liberals.)
This diffidence, this lack of certainty is, in itself, assuring. When the inevitable fall from grace occurs, the heart-break is tempered by the recognition that the Universe is either morally ambiguous, or is governed by a morality that is far beyond our petty human comprehension.
Preamble thus articulated, as I have read and watched the news over the past week, I have slowly become aware of something stirring in my heart. Something hopeful. Something joyous. Something that has been completely alien to me for a long, long time. It is the seed of pride. Pride in my country.
I've had fleeting similar sentiments before in my life. But never like this.
My country did the right thing last Tuesday. It rejected the politics of fear; it saw through the shrill bleating of the right-wing smear machine; it chose not to be afraid of diversity and change, but to reject ignorance and small-mindedness; it moved beyond the Karl Rove method of electoral politics.
It took an enormous amount of pain to awaken my country from its fitful sleep. But we are now awake. Watch the whisperers and the shadow-dealers run for cover!
President-elect Obama will not be perfect. The Democratic majorities in the two houses of Congress will certainly succumb to the temptations of abuse. But, independent of Obama, himself, and the people cutting the deals on Capitol Hill, the tone and tenor of American politics has fundamentally changed. Rather than a nation of wealth-hoarders, warlike in our efforts to maintain our dominance over other peoples, we are becoming a nation where we all work together for the common good, with a more equitable attitude toward each other and toward people outside our borders.
To be sure, there is a lot of work to do. A staggering amount of work. A titanic and Herculean effort will be required if we are to fix things.
Well, let's get started, then.