Rouge Political Musings for November 6, 2008

This is not a political blog, but so much of what has just happened in our country affects Spirit that I am impelled to comment somewhat in detail.

About Obama’s victory I will be brief. It is a great thing for our country, for our planet, and for our species. I voted for the man with utmost enthusiasm (i.e., not as the lesser of two evils this time) and think he will be a truly great president.

On NPR yesterday, there was a senior citizen who said he had said to his children (paraphrasing), “Now that Obama had been elected, I think we will find a cure for cancer.” I was struck dumb by the truth contained within this statement. This is how karmic shifts happen. Let me get into this a little deeper here.

I recall seeing a book in a resale shop in 1988 or 1989 called The Miracle of Jimmy Carter (which was of course from 1976). People had high hopes for Carter, and, although I don’t totally agree, the convential wisdom is that Carter was a failure. I had a friend opine to me yesterday that Obama would be “our Jimmy Carter,” to be followed by “our Ronald Reagan.”

But no, Obama is different. Everyone can see the mark of greatness on the man; most of those who oppose him (unlike my friend) don’t fear that he will be ineffective, but rather he will be too effective in going in what they consider the wrong direction. I think it ironic and yet entirely proper that the first African-American president has so many superlative qualities that his historic blackness will be seen, in retrospect, as an attractive yet relatively minor part of the whole he will have offered the nation.

Obama’s election is a great shift for our country–no, I should say for our species. Naturally, the fact that people of all races joined together in choosing him is a very great blow to racism, and yet–there is so much more at work here. Obama’s perhaps greatest gift among many is his ability to channel and mediate the talents and strengths of others (which is to say, leadership, but of an extraordinary kind). He has demonstrated this gift through his many political accomplishments, including his magnificent campaign, maybe the best run in all of world politics to date.

Indiana came through for Obama–that makes me proud.

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On the negative side, California’s Proposition 8 is a disgrace. California? In Indiana, which is supposed to be so conservative, we have already rejected the nonsense of such a constitutional amendment. My friend pointed out to me that one big difference is that the California Supreme Court had its ruling permitting gay marriage, and thus the conservatives or wingnuts or whoever in California were motivated to do the whole Proposition 8 thing. In Indiana, no such situation pertains.

That is true, but other states have already done preemptive strikes, so to speak, of one type or another, and Indiana, to its credit, deep-sixed such an idea without too big a fuss. The argument that seemed to work in Indiana against such appalling bigotry is that a constitutional amendment would scare away gays, who tend to be educated and have money and–oh yes, they have money! It may not be the most altruistic and pure motive of all, but there are worse. Indiana may have its conservative side, but it also knows on which side its bread is buttered.

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