11/01/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Imagine Congratulating, Instead of Being Hateful

It's hard to know sometimes if the McCain-Palin campaign is as discombobulated and directionless as it appears from the outside, zigging and zagging and blundering nonstop, or if there is a kind of mad logic at work here.

Ali's brilliant rope-a-dope strategy against George Foreman was necessary because Ali was overmatched; he thought he could not win using conventional tactics, so he hung on the ropes and dictated the terms of the fight, letting Foreman whale away at him and exhaust himself, then in the later rounds prevailed.

It's fun and necessary to watch the latest incredibly-shrinking-VP-candidate-video, or to marvel at McCain's willingness to say just about anything, but at some point we have to tune out the white noise and remember that this election is about much more than getting beyond the worse-in-the-history-of-this-country Bush administration, and much more than making sure McCain and Palin get nowhere near the White House.

It's also about finding the best within ourselves. It's all about standing up for ourselves - not wasting time on blaming someone else, but getting down to the work of turning the page. We the American people elected Bush to a second term. We the American people played our part in every crisis now convulsing this country.

It's about dreaming, and living those dreams - and talking about dreaming and living those dreams even when cynics would try to push us toward fear and hopelessness. It's about knocking down barriers, and showing people - really showing them - that it's possible for this country to change and once again find the best in itself.

I think of my neighbors back on Monroe Street in Brooklyn, about four blocks away from where Biggie grew up, and especially of six-year-old Devanta, a smart little kid trying to remain a kid, even when his neighbor (one house over from me) got shot and killed one night as he was reaching into the backseat of his SUV to lift out his baby girl.

When Ghost Wridah talks in this new video about imagining black folks with no drama, just peace, that's what I think of - and I hope we can all join Ghost Wridah - and John Lennon - in imagining how, even in a world of financial crisis and unending attack politics, we can at least begin to see hope and change unfurl around us.