"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." - Mark Twain
The 2012 campaigns to elect the next U.S. president are vastly devoid of integrity on both sides. Moment of disclosure: I am one of those people who really likes the president, but had the Republicans put forth a serious and truly thoughtful candidate, my vote certainly would have been up for grabs.
As the power struggle for president intensifies, old guard Washington will eventually have to change. The times have changed. It's a change I've witnessed where I live in Atlanta. It's the age-old question of how do we make the hand-off? How do we pass the torch from the old guard to the new? Here, Mayor Kasim Reed has undoubtedly been a significant player in the process.
It was Reed who navigated both of Shirley Franklin's campaigns to success, making her the first woman to lead Atlanta or any other major city in the South. Mayor Franklin, served as commissioner of cultural affairs under Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson, a progressive leader of tremendous magnitude, whose ambitious projects and policies helped bridge the Old South into the New.
In Washington, this transition is at least a generation away. It's evidenced by the bitter partisanship and gridlock currently crippling our Congress, oozing venom into the body politic as the nation becomes increasingly polarized. Until young, informed, politicians like Reed, comprise congress, we can look forward to more of the same.
In a recent appearance on Meet the Press, Reed's comments on race in response to Biden's "chains" gaffe, reflected where young progressives, less likely to identify as Republicans or Democrats, are at today. His insistence on sticking to facts and not backing down when confronted with senseless rhetoric, speaks to why we need more party leaders willing to call a spade a spade. The future of the American people is too delicate to consider doing otherwise.
Back in the ATL, we're still the city too busy too hate. Which is why I'm anticipating a second Reed term with great fervor. Beyond re-election, I hope he'll be the vanguard to return some sense and sensibility to the beltway, should Mr. Reed ever decide to go to Washington.