Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A fearful invocation of King and RFK

Then there were three.

Try them on for size.

President McCain

President Clinton

President Obama

How do they feel?

Ill-fitting? Tentative? Weird? A whole lot better than what we have?

Frankly, I was pulling for a President Edwards or a President Gore, but none of the candidates are much interested in what my fellow Oregonians and I think, thanks to our after-the-fact May primary.

I suppose President Gore is still a possibility, particularly if there is a stalemated convention and political justice in the world (fat chance), but he’s a long shot.

Of the three live candidates, Obama is the only one who was, and is, right on the defining issue for me, Iraq. (Obama believes we should never have gone there and need to get out pronto.). McCain wants to stay and suffer the chaos. Clinton still finds it beneath her to admit to the folly of authorizing the invasion in the first place. Her stance is sheer arrogance.

Now that Edwards has withdrawn, the latest round of polls show Obama picking up most of Edwards’ support. I was starting to lean away from Edwards even before he withdrew. I found myself being drawn to what seems like an Obama mystique.

Obama infuses his speeches with an almost transcendental, soul-directed quality. When he won in South Carolina, he described our divisions as being as much within us as individuals as they are within us as a nation. We need to health ourselves. The senator’s timing and phrasing are eerily like that of Martin Luther King Jr. Clearly he has so assimilated King’s speeches that they are part of his marrow.

Then there are the comparisons to Bobby Kennedy, his fervor and his sense of mission. That same "why not?" fire seems to burn in Obama.

A caution. Four paragraphs ago, I used the word “live.” These three candidates are obviously more than politically alive. They are literally alive, and they are vulnerable in a world of hatemongers, some with celebrity status (Yes, Rush, I mean you). I’m old enough to have lived through the anguish of 1968. It is a year one wants to forget, but never can. We bear its scars. Invoking of the names of King and Kennedy is apt and good, but the invocation is tainted with fear and grief.

It is one thing to have to wait for May and then November to choose among these leaders. It’s quite another to have to have the choice stolen by madness, hatred, conspiracy or terror.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home