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Obama and the Rush of the Pendulum Swing

02/04/2008 10:20 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

There's one law of physics I return to again and again when I wish to understand the world: for every action, there's an equal and opposite reaction.

Look at yourself: you are the sum of all that you've lived and learned up until this point. What we did yesterday, what we experienced in our mothers' arms or at her table affects us today, and helps shape not just our physical reality, but how we perceive that reality. Call it karma, or just the energy flows resultant of millions upon millions of decisions, but actions that we and others have done in the past plant the seeds for our today and tomorrows.

Now, consider the Bush/Cheney years. These seven+ years of deep, down darkness. A time that so many of us fell into some degree of hopelessness or despair, feeling that the power they wielded was insurmountable. They spoke their Big Lies. They disregarded our laws with impunity. Their visions were Potemkin, but they were sturdy, and too many Americans were struggling too hard to spend much energy worrying about something they feel they are unable to change.

Cut to Obama, Super Tuesday.

Hear that sound? Yes, that's the whoosh of a rising tide. But that may also be the sound of the mighty pendulum, swinging back from that deep, dark place. I would argue that it went so far in one direction, it now swings back with a force strong enough to deliver us into a reality that a year ago, seemed the stuff of impossible dreams.

If we had had a relatively weak and moderate Bush administration, the American people might not be ready for something so "radical" as a black president, no matter how compelling and competent his candidacy. Since we Dems need a "winner," a black candidate would be too risky -- too much too soon. But after seven years of living with Bush shame, enough of us have been radicalized enough to step out of the fear that a black man is unelectable, and say, you know what, I'm going to embrace the best person for the job, no matter if I think the average Joe may be a closet racist.

That maybe, just maybe, the Bush years were so bad, that our desperation for a new start is so strong that we're willing to transcend our own fears -- especially our fears of each other -- and embrace someone our inner political know-it-all says is an unsure bet.

I'm not a prognosticator, and I can't see into the hearts of men. But I do feel that it is because of the brutality and criminality of these past eight years that I feel that if given the choice, many Americans could be inspired, and/or convinced, to do the positive, progressive thing.

Many of us have said over and over that the more people get to know Obama, the more they believe that he's the one. Let America get to know Obama in the same way the early primary/caucus states have, the way that those of us who have been paying attention have been able to do. We have nearly the whole year to get the rest of America acquainted with Obama. Once they do, I'm confident that majorities in the states we need to win will agree that its time to turn the page, and elect Barack Obama as president.

Don't get me wrong: I don't expect Obama to be a miracle-worker. However, there is a window open that wasn't open before. I believe that this man can keep this window open longer than Mrs. Clinton can. We need a window like this to push through any major legislative change. More importantly, we need a candidate like this who can finally call on us to do more as a people than to simply shop away our problems. We need a candidate, who with one simple vote on our part, can repudiate so much that was Bush-Cheney, and allow us to start again.