Our country is a dream in progress. Let us refrain from being angry, hateful, fearful douche bags projecting our own insecurities about our competency in life onto the screen of our political system. As with the rest of our lives, we have to do the work-through on the consequences of our decisions. If we're paying attention, we get better and better at the work-through. Same deal with our political leadership. Even George W. learned something by the end of his tenure. Can you imagine what Obama can do with our political support?
Democrats washed into power two years ago in what one National Public Broadcast journalist called "a sea of blue." I was driving to pick up a friend on our way to the Bob Dylan concert held election night at the University of Minnesota. It was the night the dream of our country took over our fears of each other and, as a whole, we became a storm surge overcoming the blockages of race, class, and history. It is time to dream again.
And this dream is a more detailed dream informed by the reality of just how much will, intention and determination positive change really takes to overcome the negativity that holds us.
I recently visited Belgium and the Netherlands on a holiday jaunt. The day I left our country, a terrorist warning was issued for all Americans in Europe. Wouldn't you know it? I was concerned, but settled into my plane ride by engaging in a long, interesting conversation with a lovely Belgian couple. I was on my way to holiday. I tried to relax.
What I was struck by immediately upon exiting the plane was the high tension in Western Europe. The fear factor about "immigrants" and "Muslims" was palpable. Over the course of the week, I went from my usual attitude of assuming my fellow human beings were up to the same thing I was, trying to live a reasonably good life, to a genuine concern about everyone else on the train or plane or platform with me. How did this attitude creep in so easily and quickly?
The reality in Europe and the U.S. is that extremists from both the Christian and Muslim camps are highly active right now. The reality is our domestic and international police bodies are working around the clock to keep us safe. The reality is that there is a tiny minority of people who would gladly blow themselves up in the deranged attempt to harm those who their demented minds believe are "against my God." This is a time of real threat.
But it is also a time of real safety, real change, and the possibility of a real shift beyond the ancient mindset of race or tribe or class. The highest officer of our land, a land established not on religion or tribe but on the higher dreams of what was possible in human consciousness, embodies the best of what our American dream offers.
Obama is a biracial, self-made man with experiences working positively across borders, races and ideologies. (In fact, I would argue he has been more successful crossing the potentially sabotaged bridges between religious ideologies than he has crossing the bridges of political ideologies)! He is a practical man working hard with other practical people to solve rubber-hits-the-road problems.
We need to keep the higher dream of what our nation can be in mind this Election Day. Yes, election years always provide more airtime for our politicians than is good. It can be jarring to see how physically unattractive and intellectually moderate most of our leaders are- so damn human! But the Dems have been on-track to turn around the shitty results of shitty government decision-making supported by shitty voter choices occurring over more than a generation's time.
This election day, don't be a douche bag. Stay focused, stay positive, and review on-line the legislation that has been passed over the last two years. If you are a working class family, this legislation has been for you! We turned our heads away from cynicism, racism and fear two years ago to see the possibility of a path leading our nation to the forefront of human possibility.
The fear mongers have been screaming madly from the hither lands of negativity and have gotten our attention. But turn your head again! What we focus on is what we create, and Obama has been trying to point our attention back to the better direction.
Be brave, be responsible, get out and vote for the possibility of positive results. Reject the fear and magical-thinking that has for time immemorial brought only violence and retreat for our race, the human race.