Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Like A Lion

On to more harmonious topics. Here's Ron Suskind on the beginnings and ends of political eras:
Eras end with a whisper, with reflection and the quiet drift preceding sleep. They start with a roar, the declaration that a particular dawn is different from all its predecessors — a case made, day by day, over years of sunrises.

Across the country, a wave was gathering force. But it was diffuse, difficult to measure and seemed to be coming from many directions, many sources at once.
And a bit about the man who grabbed the moment:
Obama sat quietly for a moment, and everyone waited. “This I know: When I raise my hand and take that oath of office, I think the world will look at us differently,” he said. “And millions of kids across this country will look at themselves differently.”

Obama understood, through his own search for identity, how America’s seminal struggle over race was part of a wider story, of a search for dignity and hope that defined the lives of countless people throughout the world. A battered America, he felt, was ready, even anxious, to prove the truth of its sacred oaths — liberty, justice and equality. To show the world. If, through his own ambitions, he could offer his country a chance to step forward, it might rise to the occasion.

And it did, with astonishing speed. You could see it so clearly that night, the last night of a historic 21-month campaign, that last rally, in Manassas, Va. By 10 p.m., there were 90,000 people gathered in the Prince William County Fairgrounds. They’d been gathering since midafternoon. And it was America. Make no mistake. This was border territory, where the edge of Washington’s Northern Virginia suburbs meets the true Old Dominion. Starbucks gives way to gun shops, whole grains to grits and whatever liquid can get you drunk fast.

1 comment:

Shanti said...

Thank you for posting this J.

I read the whole article (titled Change), and became an instant fan of Ron Suskin. I hadn't read his work before, and this one deeply moved me. I feel that he very graciously and elegantly pointed out how the the oversights and failures of the last eight years happened. To read Bush's own words of how he wouldn't let the office change him ran a chill up my spin. To now look back over the crisis our country has faced, and numerous disasters that plagued our nation, I guess it truly takes a simple mind to think, or even proclaim that he will not be changed by holding the highest office in our land. WTF dude? Normally those comments are saved for the winners of American Idol or the lottery! Get a clue man!

What a difference it is to now face the challenges ahead, with an incoming Commander and Chief who knows the difficulties of such huge change. And not only that, but who is ready for how the office will change him and how his presence will most certainly change the office, our country, dare I say the world.

I'm so moved to see Barack already standing firmly at the helm, inviting us, even welcoming us to stand with him. To embrace these changes that will be difficult. It's an example of leadership we haven't seen in decades. Of course, we haven't been faced with such atrocities in decades. But still!

So I guess all that being said, we owe our thanks to Bush. Because if it wasn't for his inept leadership, poor planing, if any, and huge lack of intelligence we wouldn't have needed Barack. And therefore we wouldn't have been lucky enough to witness such a historic change in our history.

So thanks W! You may not have changed, but our country sure did.