Friday, August 29, 2008
The wheel of the year turns round and round, bringing in the new and ushering out the old again and again. No wonder we love anniversaries so much. Only by noticing what's different this time than last time is it possible to see change in action on the larger scale of cultural mindset.
When historic anniversaries coincide, it's well worth noticing, for instance that last night's acceptance speech by Barack Obama happened to fall on the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech. Could they have planned that? But when they scheduled the convention, surely no one knew yet who would be the candidate. However it came to pass, still the coinciding anniversaries marked yesterday as an even more powerful and more historic event.
Yes I watched, the whole thing, even though the convention ran late for those of us on the east coast of the U.S. One of my favorite parts of Obama's speech was when he said that this election is not about him, it's about us, the American people. Thank you, Barack! His candidacy proves without a doubt that something big has shifted since 2004 - thank God! It's a big healing.
McCain's decision to name a woman as his running mate is not only an indication of his need to compete with Obama's groundbreaking candidacy, but also a sign that even the Republicans are ready - finally! - to see a person of color, or a woman, sitting in the highest offices. Until now the horrible job of U.S. President has belonged exclusively to rich white men.
I refuse to get invested in who is going to win the election in November. I'm Obama all the way, moreso now than ever, oh yeah. But I don't want to be bound by my wishes and hopes. I'm more curious to wait and see who gets elected and what happens next, because something, some old paradigm, has shifted in a monumental way since 2004. After November 4th, we'll know just how much we've been able to shift. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Loosely crossed! (Is that possible?)
The wicked witch of the west, a.k.a. the rich white man of U.S. presidential politics, is melting. At last! Bravo!! Mark 2008 in your book of anniversaries, people. This is a presidential election to remember.