Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dejection and Fear

Although I love debating and discussing politics, I have tried to avoid talking about it during the end of this past election cycle (which technically isn't over until the Electoral College meets, but I digress). The reasons I avoided it, especially here in such a public forum, were dejection and fear. Dejection because I was so tired of being treated by the media and politicians either as an ignorant child, who had to be protected from the scary intricacies of government that only "insiders" could understand or handle, or as a narrow-minded, selfish child who could be bought-off with false promises and hollow sweet talk. I just became plain weary of it. Fear because I didn't want my blog to become a virtual version of this, this, or this. (What happened to the good ol' days of stolen yard signs and snarky bumper stickers?) I still hear echoes of these hateful absurdities, but hopefully they are fading.

I am going to try to be optimistic and trust that once Mr. Obama is inaugurated, these types of things will stop. That we have learned. I don't want to end the intelligent, sincere questioning and debate that is necessary to maintain an informed public and a supervised government. That must continue. But the ignorant, hateful, disrespectful vitriol of late needs to end. My soul and the soul of our country and her people cannot, and should not, take it. I'm trying to be optimistic, but it's hard.

When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his now famous I Have a Dream speech, he was speaking specifically of the horrors and divisiveness of racism. I hope that Dr. King would not mind if I say that his words and intentions can, and should, be applied to all forms of irrational hatred, including politicism.

... But there is something I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone...

... I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today...

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