I’ve always enjoyed talking politics with friends. I’ve even stayed in touch with History and Political Science professors from my undergraduate days. A few days ago, while talking with a former History professor, I realized that not everyone sees America the way I do. I told him that for the first time in my life I was really optimistic about a presidential candidate. I wasn’t just being forced to choose from two stooges that special interests had propped up. My optimism came from the little known U.S. senator, Barack Obama.
My professor, a man have great respect for, told me that Obama could never be president because he was black. I was stunned. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been. Maybe lots of people feel that way. But there are lots more that don’t. There are people who are donating to Obama’s campaign that can’t afford to donate. People are now voting in primaries that have never voted before. I think that people are beginning to realize that they have been hoodwinked and bamboozled by special interests and incompetence.
Now, just as renewed hope is emerging, leaders of the Democratic Party are determined to put a stop to it. The leader of the party, Howard Dean, squirms on television when asked whether the Michigan and Florida primaries should count at the convention. Hillary Clinton question Obama’s patriotism, religion, and integrity. Today, I heard Geraldine Ferraro tell the press that Barack Obama is “lucky” because he is black and that Hillary Clinton is the victim of a “sexist media.” What is going on?
Like children that don’t get their way, these adults are throwing tantrums – last ditch vitriolic attacks paid for and sponsored by large campaign donors. Unable to assail Obama on anything substantive, they are crying about race and gender. As we are getting closer to the November elections, Democratic Party leaders like Howard Dean sit by and fiddle while the party burns. Like their compatriots in the Republican Party, they have become corrupt and sleazy, offering their vote to the highest bidder.
I hope that my history professor is wrong. In 1963, Martin Luther King hoped for a better America – a nation in which his children would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Almost 50 years later, we are still struggling to make “The Dream” come true. Can we make a change, make a difference? If King were alive today, I believe his answer would be, “Yes, we can.”