Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Barack Obama and the perfect union

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union” Barack Obama President elect
To form a more a perfect union, because the union is perfect, but could be more perfect. I think that when I first heard those words I did not understand the real meaning. I have spent time pondering what a more perfect union could be. I also thought about how in my everyday life I could use more perfect unions. My reflections on the election of Barack Obama have given me the opportunity to look at all the union I have in my life.

Happy life I live, I think. The unions in my life are the cement that holds my life together. The unions in my life are my life.

The unions in my life, relationships with friends and family, are what motivate me always strive for excellence. The question that I have is concerning, what is a perfect union? And do I have any perfect unions in my life. If I find that I have a perfect union in my life, would I want to make it more perfect?
The philosophy that I have lived by has always been live and let live. The live and let live does not leave a lot of room for perfect unions. Live and, maybe I should upgrade my philosophy on life to achieve perfect unions.

The first union in my adult life was my marriage. I met, I dated, and I married. This is not the best road to follow when looking for a life mate. That marriage union did not last long, and it was far from perfect. I did learn that loving, laughing, learning, and loving were part of what it takes to be successful at marriage. Just because I had marriage and a baby carriage did not mean I had a meaningful union, and without meaning marriage could never be perfect.

The second union in my life is where I found meaning. My son Stephan and I have a union. My son Sterling and I have a union. My son Syd and I have a union. It is from these unions that I found what a union was. The bond I have with my sons is a true union. I pledge to be there, teaching, protecting, and guiding them into adulthood. My sons pledge to do their best in everything they attempt. The union I have with my sons may be the closest thing to a perfect union that I have I my life.

The union in ours lives is what holds us together as a people. The union of a people is what holds together a nation. The nation is what holds together a people. The perfect union is the circle of people needing people, and a nation needing people. The United States need its people as much as its people need the United States.
Barack Obama understands that we need each other in order for the country to be the best it can be. “Yes we Can” was the theme of his election. In order for us to form a more perfect union we must work on all the unions in our lives. Barack Obama reminded America that all unions are important. Black and white, rich and poor, we must all come together like the founding fathers did when they formed this nation.

America thirsts for hope. America hungers for change. Barack Obama has a key insight into feeding America what she needs. Lady Liberty has a champion in Barack Obama. Change is what America cried out for, and the election of Barack Obama was the answer to those cries.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”Preamble to the United States Constitution
As an African American man those words did not have meaning, because my ancestors were slaves. Since the election of Barack Obama I feel as if I am now one of the people. It takes all the people in order for any of the people- to have a perfect union.

“I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother — a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.
These people are a part of me. And they are a part of America, this country that I love” Barack Obama President-elect Remarks of Senator Barack Obama
A More Perfect Union
Constitution Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The union that is America is not a perfect one. The union between America and its people is what is perfect. The union between the people of America could use more work, and it is that work that will make this country a more perfect union.
The notion of more perfect is now clear. Barack Obama has showed a country what it would take for it to be better. Obama never said that there was something wrong with this country. He just reminded us what it would take to make it better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Character: Barack Obama the Definition

People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built. - Eleanor Roosevelt

I think that Eleanor Roosevelt would have liked Barack Obama.

The preceding sentence may be one of the oddest sentences I have ever written. The rise of Barack Obama to the position of president elect has given me opportunities to construct many new thoughts. I have been given the unique opportunity to be a part of history, the election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. This election has caused me to question the concept that I have held about the true nature of America. The America I thought I new before the last election, has changed before my eyes into something that I have yet to understand. The election of Obama has demonstrated to me that in this country anything is possible.

Meeting life honestly and courageously is the definition of how Barack became President -elect of the United States. I think that the theme of Barack’s campaign “Yes We Can” is the truest form of facing life honestly and courageously. Barack Obama made a cynical country believe in itself again.

John F. Kennedy stated “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other “and I think Barack Obama is a man that understands that he is still learning.

I think that John F. Kennedy would have liked Barack Obama.

“A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus” is what Martin Luther King Jr. once said. I think that Barack Obama has molded the consensus of a nation. With the election of Barack Obama America has passed a test that asked difficult questions. The test of America as a nation asked whether we were able to elect a man of character, no matter what color his skin was. The test of America asked whether we as a country could move past 200 years of racism. The test of America asked could we come together as a nation and change our direction. America was able to take the test and pass. That is what the election of Barack Obama says about where our country is today.

I don’t for a minute think that Barack Obama would have been elected if not for the quality of his character. A black man in America must be almost perfect to have a chance at the same job or position as a flawed white man. Just look at the last president. Let us not forget that he won twice. I am forever thankful that America produced a leader like Barack Obama. The dream of Martin Luther King Jr. stated:

” I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

That dream has been fulfilled.

I think that Martin Luther King Jr. would have liked Barack Obama.

I think that most people of character like Barack Obama because in him they see themselves. I see in Barack Obama what I wish to see in myself and my sons -character.

Character: Obama vs. Clinton

Character: Barack Obama and his decision not to attack Hillary Clinton during the campaign.

The people around you are whispering in your ear, attack, yet you hold fast to your ideals. This is what Barack Obama faced during his campaign for president of the United States. The Democratic Party in 2008 had two candidates running for the Democratic Party nomination. Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama were both viable candidates. Both Clinton and Obama faced tough choices on how they were going to run their campaign.

As an African- American man in America I thought about how Barack Obama would go about his campaign against Hilary Clinton. The one thing that came to mind was The Birth Of A Nation(1915) the D.W. Griffith film. It was Birth of a Nation that set the tone of America’s racial attitude toward blacks. Blacks were depicted as brutish, lazy, weak, violent and dangerous. The sad fact is that in America today there are still people clinging to old stereotypical portrayals of blacks.

Barack Obama was put in the position of a black man fighting against a white woman. Obama as a black man had to walk a thin line the way he engaged her during the election. If Obama was too tough on Clinton, he would be portrayed as a brutish black man attacking a helpless white woman. If Obama was not tough enough then he would take a chance of losing the election. At the same time as Obama had to be careful of,- Clinton going on the attack. The Clinton campaign was relentless in their attacks on Obama. The Clinton campaign did not have to worry about offending the psyche of a raciest country.

The Clinton campaign used all the imbedded racial stereotypes that America holds to discredit Barack Obama. The focus of the Clinton campaign was to separate America in two camps, one white, and one black. The problem that Clinton faced was that America moved on past some of the attitudes of the past. White Americans looked at the problems facing the country, and they made their choice based on what candidate had the best plan for America. The support that Clinton ended up with was that of un-educated white Americans. Hilary Clinton with the support of un-educated white American had about the same chance of winning the election as Jesse Jackson did with only the support of black Americans.

The Obama campaign stayed on point during the election, and Obama never gave in to attacking Clinton.

The character of Obama is what kept him above the sea of racial politics. It was his belief in America that made him ignore the whispers in his ear that wanted him to attack Clinton. The strategy of staying on the high ground and sticking to the issues that faced America is what pushed him passed Clinton in the democratic primary.

The circle was complete when Obama asked Clinton to be the Secretary Of State in his adminstation.Rivals at one point, now on the same team, Clinton and Obama have come a long way. The question is now what is it about Obama that would make him offer Clinton a job, and what compelled Clinton to accept. I think that during the campaign, and after the election, Clinton saw the same thing in Obama that I saw-character.

The election of Barack has helped America forget the racial stereotypes of the past. Now children of every color can strive to be President of the United States.
We must always remember the raciest past of America, so that we will be able to stop it from ever coming back.

Character: Barack Obama stands by Jeremiah Wright

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”

Stated by the founding fathers in the declaration of independence in the spring of 1787, and once again by Barack Obama in his March 18th 2008 speech, those powerful words have been historically been used by people that wanted to change the world.

The words ” change" and" revolution" are related in the idea that revolution is a fast change. I think that the campaign of Barack Obama has been a testament to the power of change. Change was the simple word that was at the heart of his campaign. The revolution that Barack Obama’s campaign forced upon America was one of facing who we really are as a country in regards to race relations.

Sunday mornings are still the most segregated time in America. Whites go to churches that other whites go to. Black churches are attended by other blacks. The country has long thought that simply being in church was enough to fulfill ones spiritual obligations. Now we must as a country face the race issues head on. The campaign of an African-American has forced us to peer deep within ourselves, and ask tough questions. Are we as a country ready to elect the best candidate regardless of race, creed, or color?

I as an African American fell that that are still racial problems in this country. I think that there are racial issues all over the world.

The public reaction and controversy surrounding Jeremiah Wright confirmed this for me.

The Jeremiah Wright controversy during the 2008 presidential campaign did not alter my perception of race relations in America. The Jeremiah Wright controversy did change my opinion of the media in America. It was the media that took small portions of a sermon by Wright and condemned his character. If one had took the time to view what Jeremiah Wright actually said in his sermons it follows that no reasonable person could call him a raciest or hate monger. The sermons were aimed at the real injustices that members of his congregation and the black community have suffered from. Rev. Wright can recall when it was not safe for blacks to drive cross country in America. Rev Wright can recall when blacks looked upon the police with fear and distrust. These are the things that made Rev. Wright preach the sermon in a historical framework.

Goddamn America for slavery. Goddamn America for a social welfare system that rewards slothfulness, and drives black fathers away from their children. I, like Rev. Wright once in a while damns America for some of its wrongs.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright is a typical African American preacher. It is the job of the preacher to serve as a community leader and sounding board. If there were no preachers in the African American community there would have never been a civil rights movement.

“I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother - a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.” Barack Obama

I as an African American can not express how proud I am of the stand Barack Obama took regarding the media attack on Rev Jeremiah Wright. The character of a man is measured when he is faced with hard decisions. Barack Obama, unlike anyone in recent history’ has made the correct decision time and time again. I think that it is a good day when a great man makes a great choice. The best thing about the choice that Obama made is that I can identify with where he was coming from. I see what he sees in Rev. Wright is a good man: who taken out of context, was made by the media to be portrayed as a bad man.

Truth is what it is. The only way for a person to judge Rev. Wright is to listen to what he said. I listened to several of his sermons, and I agree with most of what he said.

The disturbing thing about the Rev. Wright controversy is that it was the best that the media could do to damage the character of Barack Obama. Instead what they did was inspire Barack Obama to write his best speech-A More Perfect Union.

Monday, December 8, 2008

How Barack Obama’s decision not to fight the war in Iraq changed his campaign.

The year is 2002 and Barack Obama is a candidate for the United States Senate. He puts his political life on the line by him opposing war in Iraq.

But what if Barack Obama had taken the easier path of going along with the conventional thinkers in Washington? and chose to support the war in Iraq.

The first thing that would be different for Barack Obama would have been his inability to separate himself from the other presidential candidates. The Democratic Party would have been faced with a crowed group of similar thinking candidates. The more people running for office, the harder the fight becomes for campaign funds. In 2006 and 2007 Hillary Rodham Clinton was the clear front runner. The Clinton campaign had the money and support of the Democratic Party. The Obama campaign would not have been able to generate funds in such high numbers if he had supported the war in Iraq. The Obama presidential run would have be faced with going up against an established Clinton political machine, and would not have had the resources to put up a decent fight.

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton each have voting records that show that they have both voted along the Democratic Party line. Therefore the voting record could not be used as an issue to show their differences, if anything it would show their similarities.To the average American, it would have appeared then, that all the potential presidential candidates were in support of the war.

The Obama campaign would have faced an entirely different a new set of political problems. In Barack Obama’s 2002 Speech Against the Iraq War speech he stated “After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears I supported this Administration’s pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such a tragedy from happening again”.

This speech was a cry out against the war. Because of that speech Obama gained the support of many independents. So if Obama was with the Bush administration’s decision on the war in Iraq, many of his best speeches would have never been penned.

Obama also faced questions about his lack of political experience; his answer remained simple. Obama stated that when there was a time for an important political decision to be made, he made the right one. The fact that Obama was the only presidential candidate who never supported the war became the foundation of his campaign, so without the anti-war stance he would have been forced to find another hot-topic issue to campaign on.

The world would be different if Barack Obama had decided to be a supporter of the war.The world would have lost the spark of hope and change that Barack Obama started around the world with his political campaign. The 2008 presidential campaign would have also been different. The first thing that would be different is that Hillary Clinton would have been the clear front runner for the Democratic Party. The campaign would be a forgone conclusion that Hilary Clinton was going to be the Democratic nominee. As a result of Hillary Clinton having a big early lead in the election the interest would have waned.

We would have been faced with Barak Obama exiting from the campaign.

Without Obama as competition for Hillary to compete with, Clinton would have sweepts into the general election as the democratic nominee for president of the United States of America. And if the polls of a Hillary Clinton/John McCain contest were correct, we would have witnessed John McCain as the next President of the United States of America.

The way that the young voting demographic in America joined the democratic process has been another way in which the Obama effect has been felt. The participation of young Americans is a direct result of Barack Obama running for president. The election without Obama would then have been being like all the past elections. The next president would have been a
white male without question.

It was Barack Obama’s campaign that brought the youth of all races into the election process. That demonstrates that if Obama had supported the war in Iraq he would have come across as a run of the mill candidate, without any new ideas. The war was the main issue that united Barack Obama with the young voters of today. The younger generation in America saw Obama agreeing with their assessment that this war was a mistake from the start.

The main theme of all the candidates in the 2008 presidential election is change. This is a message that was gleaned from the Obama Plan. The country might have lost a generation of young voters if Obama had not stood against the war.A great nation may have lost its way if not for Obama.
The campaign trail for Obama would have been a lot shorter if he had not shown the courage to make a stand against the war from the start. If Obama’s campaign had been shorter, then all the minorities and young Americans that joined his campaign may have been left out of the democratic process.

YouTube - Barack Obama 2004 DNC Speech Part 1

YouTube - Barack Obama 2004 DNC Speech Part 1

Barack Obama and the decision not to fight:

The easy way has become the most popular way for most of us to take. Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security by the relentless pandering that we hear coming from Washington. The politics of today do not address issues that affect the lives of everyday Americans. We have given in to politicians, who have in turn given in to lobbyists. That is why it is important for us as Americans to look past the political views of politicians, and to judge the content of their character.

" My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington." Barack Obama

It was once in vogue to take a stand. The spirits of Americans were forged in the fires of rebellion and revolution. It was the hard choice that has made this country the greatest in the world. The hard choice is never the safe choice. A man must take a moment and ask the question, what is the right thing to do? It is at that point that the spirit of a man rises to the top.
“I don't oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.” Barack Obama

The war in Iraq was supported by President Bush. It was the easy choice for politicians to get on the bandwagon to battle behind him. The hard choice was to not support the war. By choosing to take the opposite stance, then Senator Barack Obama took a stance that would set the tone for the rest of the presidential campaign.

In order to understand Barack Obama’s choice to avoid the war in Iraq, we must try to understand Barack Obama. Barack Obama was born on August 4th, 1961, in Hawaii to Barack Obama Sr. and Ann Dunham. As a child Barack Obama’s mother moved to different parts of the world. It was the exposure to different people and different government that made Barack Obama appreciates America. When Barack Obama was a pre-teen his mother sent him back to Hawaii to live with his grandmother. It was his grandmother that gave him the insight into what hard work could accomplish. Barack Obama’s mother also knew that he would get a better education in the United States than any else in the world. Obama graduated from Columbia University in 1983 and in 1991 graduated from Harvard Law School where he was the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review. Obama worked as a community organizer, university lecturer, and civil rights lawyer before running for public office and serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004. In 2004 he was elected to the U.S. Senate with 70% of the vote. Obama came to the nation’s attention after delivering the keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

The vote to not support the war was a vote for change, a vote for hope. History will remember that Barack Obama’s meteoric rise from community organizer to being the president elect started when a junior senator from Illinois- looked deep within himself, and said – “No. War can be an option, but it should never be the only option.”

One must consider what perfect storm could bring about such an environment in which an African-American stands as the President-elect. The perfect storm must have all the perfect elements, and in this political storm Barack Obama rose to the occasion. The single instant that may have placed Barack Obama in the position of becoming the first African-American President of the United States, was his decision not to go along with the war in Iraq.

What if Barack Obama had decided to support the war in Iraq? Where would his campaign for the Presidency have ended? Would he have ever run for President at all? The idea that one judgment on the war could have such an impact on the history of our country is staggering. The act of standing against a popular war is not an easy decision to make, and to think that Barack Obama did so is surprising. So now we find Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States.

The character of Barack Obama is what gave him the edge over his rivals. The lack of experience played an important part also in Barack Obama’s decision regarding not to go to war in Iraq. Since he had not the time to be part of a corrupt political system, he had insight to question it. The character of a man can carry him to lofty places, or sink him low depts. I have enjoyed seeing the character of Barack Obama carry him to the Whitehouse.