Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Obama Era

A letter I wrote tonight to a Houston friend.
Your cynicism surprises me.  I understand that we're not exactly entering into a utopian era, but for the first time in a long while, our elected leaders promise to act with both reasoned foresight and an inspired instinct for social/economic justice around the world--regardless of how it will be mitigated by the realities of governing and politics--that we've not seen in practice or rhetoric in a very long time (hell, we haven't seen then practice AND rhetoric, simultaneously, since Johnson, despite Vietnam.)  Blood will continue to be shed metaphorically and in horrific literalness both, but that's always the case.  Hell man, I'm a Jew--my world view is essentially tragic, despite my apparent 'bounciness.'

This election is a historic marker.  It's not necessarily a cure in itself for what ails us, but it reveals the prospects for a more positive prognosis that we've had in some time.  The twenty-first century horrors shall grow and continue, along the lines of romantic/nationalist viruses of the last two centuries.  But this is a big turn, baby.  Big.

If we see race in politics grow uglier for a while, it will be on the model of how gender in politics has been growing ugly...  just at the time that it is nearing it's future irrelevancy.  The world is better than it was forty years ago.  Tonight will help make it better forty years from now.

3 comments:

suzy vitello soulé said...

well said, my friend.

Harold Phillips said...

I'll second that. No, Obama's election doesn't bring us into a hearts-and-flowers utopian era... but it does represent the beginning of a new age for the United States. Now the 21st Century can finally begin.

David Loftus said...

Hell, it's a HUGE improvement not to fear having to cringe -- and not indeed cringing -- every time my country's Chief Executive opens his mouth.