Monday, December 29, 2008

What A Time It Was

2008 will long be remembered for the momentous election that brought America its first Black President. It will also be remembered for the disastrous economic collapse. The American people bought into Barack Obama's message of hope and possibility, while watching the economy collapse around them. It was a year in which America showed that it still had some idealism in it while bearing witness to the catastrophic results of unbridled greed and cynicism.

I'm not sure how you wrap up a year like this one. However, I prefer to focus on the positive aspects of 2008. I don't know if there's a lot left to say, so I'll just include a portion of an article that I wrote back in March.

Imagine what it would be like to wake up the day after the general election in November and realize that America had elected it's first non white-male President. It would say so much about how far the country has come. It would be a significant step to showing how far we have come toward fulfilling the ideal of America. We are supposed to be that "shining city on a hill", we are supposed to believe "that there is a placed called hope", we are supposed to think that we are guided by "the better angels of our nature". That is the dream that we have been asked to buy for so long.

I don't know the answer to the question of whether Obama or Clinton would be a better President than McCain, but no one does. If we allow fear and hatred to make that decision for us then we turn our back on everything that this country is supposed to stand for. I am not saying that people should vote for the Democratic candidate to prove a point. What I am saying is that each candidate must be judged on the merits and not pre-judged on their race, religion or gender. That really is all I ask. Is that so much? Judging by what I hear and read every day, apparently it is. I do hope that this election cycle will prove me wrong. I can hope that we have a fair and above board election. I can hope that the majority of Americans stand up and reject the politics of hate and fear. I can hope that this is the year, that we as a country, (as Dr. King so eloquently stated), "rise up and live out the true meaning of our creed". I can only hope.

I'll end this post with the lyrics to "Bookends" by Paul Simon:

"Time it was, and what a time it was, it was. A time of innocence, a time of confidences. Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph. Preserve your memories; They're all that's left you."


SJ said...

I think this has been the longest year of my life. This is how long years used to feel, back when I was a child in grade school.
Can you even remember January or February?
The first quarter of 2008 feels like two years ago...
Well, let's get on with it then... 2009.
Cheers Michael,
thanks for letting me on board.

plf said...

Even with the often gut-wrenching moments of 2008, I could always count on this blog for informative, smart, thoughtful, funny, sometimes angry, always fair-minded opinions. This past year is impossible to quantify in just a few paragraphs, so instead, I am going to look forward to reading your thoughts as the 2009 political scene unfolds.