A postscript to "Tumbling Dice": after having had ongoing conversations since the last Democratic debate, I just want to add a few further thoughts. While I came away from the evening thinking Hillary "won," after a lot of back and forth with my fellow cranks, I think in the end she will prove too tempting a target for the conservative anti-Clinton forces, who have been waiting for a chance to flay her raw for whichever inane and psychologically revealing reasons they might cite (I want a nickel for every Vince Foster reference that gets spewed onto the bar). It will be a tide of vitriol rivaled only by the roiling river of hate-slime flowing through the tunnels beneath Manhattan in Ghostbusters 2. But incapable of ever being converted by Jackie Wilson.
But a Barack Obama candidacy will prove even too scary for the GOP to attack forcefully, though they will try. Some zitty, nose-picking GOP operative somewhere will of course misstep and hurl a racial firebomb which in turn will cause major convulsions within the Republican body politic, as well as inciting a spasm of regret/self-loathing at the core of every American who wants to think race is a dead issue but knows otherwise. But almost above all other things he espouses and embodies, Obama can excite the young people who are the future of this country and give them someone and something more substantive that Brittany fuggin' Spears to look up to. They are (if advertisers in their wily wisdom can be trusted) are the most sought after demographic, if only because they are the most impressionable.
It's clear that no one person can run this country; that highly visible leadership, actual charisma and wit is every bit as important as business acumen or geopolitical strategic capability. People want and need a leader who can rally and inspire. And the people, if inspired, energized and empowered are an unstoppable force for good.
The potential for such a situation is wildly feared by those who currently hold the reins of power and all of their craven ilk. The opportunity to catalyze the nation's legion of frustrated citizens is presenting itself as clearly as any such opportunity ever has. Hillary Clinton's gender is important and her ascent as a woman in American politics is truly historic. But only as such, she is not as potentially inspiring a leader as Barack would be. And after years of mindless, passive consumption of the same pap that has passed itself off as Democracy, a dose of genuinely thrilling inspiration is what we need.
And, being a sentimental bastard myself, haplessly emotional and easily made to weep at any screening of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington I am going where my heart (and head) is leading me: I am going for Obama.
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