A Chance To Put To Rest, A Chance To Lead

2008 has the potential of going down in history as a landmark election year in which America showed that it is far more intolerant and bigoted than it likes to admit.

The first casualty of intolerance has already fallen.

I rarely if ever agreed with Mitt Romney on anything.  His speech on religion was good, and I agreed with most of it, but the fact that he so blatantly ignored the sensibilities of those Americans who do not have religion, implying as he did that atheists did not have the same invitation to freedom as the faithful also angered me to no end.  It showed a shade of intolerance to a man who was himself fighting the demons of bigotry in regards to his own faith.

In the end, to think that Romney’s Mormon faith had nothing to do with the fact that John McCain is now the Republican nominee is incredibly naive.  Had he been a nice Protestant or a Baptist, I think we would be looking at a totally different Republican primary right now.

A religious test was put to Romney, and among the legions of religious conservative voters who hold such sway within the Republican party, he was found wanting.

Now, in the Democratic primary where the two remaining candidates are neither white nor male, the idealistic hope that this would be a campaign judged upon their merits to be the President of the United States has been all but shattered.  Race and gender have been cynically employed throughout this race, and they are slowly tearing the party apart as well as increasing the terrible likelihood that we will have to suffer through at least four years of a McCain administration.

And so it is with great interest and not a little apprehension that I find that Obama is slated to give a speech about race tomorrow in Philadelphia.

Indeed, this could be the biggest speech of this campaign, maybe of his career or even his life.

At its least ambitious, tomorrow’s speech should be a major move to hopefully put to rest the turmoil caused by a particularly inflammatory sermon delivered by his pastor.  But the words of Jeremiah Wright are only a small fraction of the damage that has been done throughout the Democratic primary.

I hope that Obama recognizes this for what it truly is, not merely a chance to put to rest the damage done by Rev. Wright, but a chance to lead, a chance to heal the wounds inflicted in the heart of a painful and divisive primary.

While this does not mark a make or break speech for Obama (I believe he’ll continue to do well whether or not he exceeds expectations), he can cement, if not in delegates at least in the minds of the Democratic party, that he truly has the leadership qualities needed to first unite the party, and then the nation.

4 Responses to “A Chance To Put To Rest, A Chance To Lead”

  1. I’ll be glued to it.

  2. Same here.
    I’m torn between going to Philadelphia or Harrisburg tomorrow – both of which will not miss me – if I go to either. But the importance remains for each of them.

    I’m so tired of bigoted lawmakers I feel that Philadelphia would be inspiring – but on the other hand – the future of my happiness will be debated on the Senate Chamber Floor in Harrisburg. It’s a hard decision.


  3. okay… gonna do all further commenting tomorrow… slagged today.

  4. Bloody Hell, RD, I hope you went to the speech.


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