Strange to say? Well, it struck me while I watched Barack Obama voting on television yesterday. I saw a family, young and vital, made up of believers in the possibility of a better society. A smiling man of shining intelligence. A beautiful, well-spoken wife, with whom he seems to actually be in love. And two young children who seem like...young children. I'm so tired of white-haired white men, with their brittle, officious wives. My patience has been exhausted by the moralizing, proselytizing, and pandering displays of religiosity in presidential and vice-presidential candidates -- conservatives and supposed progressives alike (most of them Christians, but one particular odious Jew comes to mind). Finally, someone has won the White House with only a modicum of the watering down of his standards, his stature, and his stances. (And you know what? Now that it's over, maybe some of us can admit that a man like Jeremiah Wright has seen some pretty good reasons in his lifetime to express rage toward the nation that routinely condoned the murders of people just like him.)
I'm not blind, and I'm not deluded. I don't expect anybody to embrace me as their soul brother. But in his unabashed belief in education over glorified ignorance, in wisdom over warmongering, in humanism over denominational hubris, in effort over expedience, and in service over self-interest Barack Obama is the first president in my lifetime who resembles me and the people I know. And the fact that he looks so very different from, and so very foreign to, so many of the people who are terrified of him and everything he represents probably gives us the best chance we'll have in my lifetime of helping some of them past the roadblocks that have stood in the way of their own intellectual and emotional development. Hopefully enough of them will open their hearts and minds to the miracle of what's just happened to allow all of us to take a very large step away from the regressive path we've been on for too long, and to move forward in the direction we're all meant to go: into the future.
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