A More Perfect Union Than Expected
I am a person who has spent most of my life speaking, writing or communicating in some fashion or other, for both business and pleasure. Although age has gradually enhanced my discretion, diplomacy and ability to keep my mouth tightly shut at critical moments, I am rarely at a loss for words.
Today, however, I am truly at a loss to describe the intensity of my emotions in the wake of President Obama’s re-election. The only analogy that I can come up with is that this feeling must be similar to what patients afflicted with long-term, debilitating illnesses feel when they are fully restored by “miraculous” cures.
Apparently, I have been suffering for quite a long time (at least since the 2010 midterm elections) from an insidious political disillusion that progressed, by stages, through despair, anger, bitterness and finally built to a campaign-year fever of cynicism that threatened to pull me under, into a relapse of my “post-Nixon” apolitical angst.
But this morning is a new day that I face with renewed vigor, renewed faith in humanity and America, and renewed hope for a better future for my child and his family. This is not because I believe that Barack Obama is some sort of political demigod. Over the past four years I have often disagreed with the President and his reactions to the exigencies of leading a highly polarized, partisan government. I have been disappointed, exasperated and, at times, bewildered by Obama’s actions but, in the end, Obama’s final words to Wisconsin voters resonated deeply in me:
Wisconsin, you know me by now. You may not agree with every decision I’ve made—you know, Michelle doesn’t either. You may be frustrated at the pace of change. I promise you, so am I sometimes. But you know that I say what I mean and I mean what I say. You know where I stand, you know what I believe, you know I tell the truth… So when I say, Wisconsin, that I know what real change looks like, you’ve got cause to believe me because you’ve seen me fight for it, you’ve seen me deliver it, you’ve seen the scars on me to prove it, you’ve seen the gray hairs on my head to show you what it means to fight for change.
I believe in Barack Obama and I believe in the America that relected him, the America that, through their pain, valiantly spoke truth to power and, in a unified voice said that, against all odds, no amount of money, no amount of intimidation, no amount of disinformation and demagoguery can deter us from constantly striving to create “a more perfect union.”