A year or so ago I wrote a book entitled The Courage of Our Convictions. It urged Democratic leaders to restate the principles that guided the party successfully through the age of Roosevelt (1932-1968): commitment to national community, security alliances, citizen obligation, and equality and justice. Only when our principles are clear can voters know who we are and identify with us and can we develop persuasive and effective policies,and programs. Principles, policies, programs.
The Iowa caucus results seem to support this ideal. Senator Obama is a man of principle. He is committed to restoring a sense of national community to America. He believes in restoring our security alliances through active diplomacy and engaging those who disagree with us in constructive dialogue. He restates the requirement that we all give something back to America, to become engaged in the public arena, in the national interest. And, most important, he is the walking embodiment of equality and justice.
Already the Obama candidacy has sent a powerful message around a watching world: The torch has been passed to a new generation of American leaders, and we don't care what color it is.
As one who has struggled throughout a lifetime for restoration of idealism to American politics, I can only smile, and perhaps shed a tear of happiness, that our time may have come.
This is a new day in America. Let's call it hope.
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