Michelle Obama took a bunch of flack for saying that she finally had a chance to feel proud of the United States awhile back. Well last night while I was watching Barack kick off the general election after clinching the Democratic Party nomination I think I may have been sharing his wife's sentiment.
Now I am not naïve enough to believe that one person can change everything immediately – but it was so refreshing to listen to an articulate and intelligent speech free from the ad hominem mean spirited character assassination that has passed as political discourse for the last decade.
When did we get so nasty? It will definitely be interesting to see if Obama can continue to take the high road in this campaign. I think this is where Hillary went wrong (besides voting to authorize Bush's Iraqi fiasco.) When her campaign miscalculated its strategy they fell back on the tried and true ways of attack defame and belittle. Surprisingly this backfired - just barely. This is where my hope comes from.
50.1% of Democratic voters (I totally made up this statistic – but I'd bet it's not only in the ballpark it's sitting like a rosin sack on the pitcher's mound) said they were sick of the divisive and spiteful temperament of the last administration. This gives one a smidgeon of a reason to be hopeful. Will it be enough to carry the general election, will this approach hold up against the Rovian attack apparatus that is gearing up like some steam punk demolition machine, or has this ideal already been irreparably damaged by the primary contests? We'll see.
I hope things don't degenerate too quickly even though the talking heads are already stirring the pot this morning shouting over top of each other.
I hope this candidacy gives the kids I work with at Charles Lake Elementary something to aspire to other than a career in pro basketball or gangsta rap.
I hope civility is taken down from the curio cabinet of the passé.