The beautiful, and dare I say luscious, Shyama introduced me to "From 52 to 48 with love". It’s a bit of a misnomer since it has the ratio wrong, but its heart is pure which is why I will not correct it. It’s a great post, it represents exactly the moment. The only enemy here is post hip cool cynicism.
I took a lot of emails and calls election night as I spoke to friends and family both red and blue. During one red call a friend mentioned they were crying and had no idea why, they had voted for John McCain. I twittered my response to him.
November 4th, 2008 was, really, a moment. I don’t care if you’re a cynic who loves to poke fun at history in the making, hey maybe you want to really be the guy quoted as going "yeah that FDR and his followers, what idiots".
I mean be the contrarian if that’s the sole thing you feel is important. But on november 4th, 2008, we finally dealt with September 11th, 2001. We dealt with it, at long last, like Americans.
We did not do so because we finally elected a black man President, nor did we do so because we elected a Democrat over a Republican.
One thing is not in dispute, by either side of the American political spectrum, although it has been used lately by one side over the other: This country was not founded on fear.
It was founded on hope.
This country has not thrived on fear.
It hasn’t in its history.
This country has thrived on hope.
Whenever anyone tells you to fear in America, that person is telling you to deny what America is. I have some cynical friends, let’s call them post political, that like to make fun of this. I’ve seen that they prefer to revel in the atmosphere of a sense of country defined by sacrificial murder as a way to explain the very politics of love of country. To get swept up in a movement of hope, makes you an idiot no matter its potential. That’s ok.
Raised on the history of Vietnam, the supposed guilt of 9/11, and the shame of the second Iraq war’s mistakes, it’s easy for them to play the jaded idiot savant; they are more interested in snark than the honor that even I never believed was our earned birthright as Americans until recently: we are actually better than our politics would suggest. We really are.
Frank Rich wrote recently :"It Still Felt Good the Morning After"
In that essay he said:
The actual real America is everywhere. It is the America that has been in shell shock since the aftermath of 9/11, when our government wielded a brutal attack by terrorists as a club to ratchet up our fears, betray our deepest constitutional values and turn Americans against one another in the name of “patriotism.” What we started to remember the morning after Election Day was what we had forgotten over the past eight years, as our abusive relationship with the Bush administration and its press enablers dragged on: That’s not who we are.
So even as we celebrated our first black president, we looked around and rediscovered the nation that had elected him. “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for,” Obama said in February, and indeed millions of such Americans were here all along, waiting for a leader. This was the week that they reclaimed their country.
I think Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wasn’t talking about race. I think, with history’s hindsight, he may have been talking about fear, in all its forms.
So let’s say it loud. Let’s say it without fear of ridicule. Let’s say it to the face of every extremist who will kill the innocent to try and make us change our ways.
Free at last,
Free at last!
thank God almighty, we are free at last.