I'll lay down my election predictions tomorrow morning.
Until then....consider along with me why a Barack Obama presidency, a virtual lock at this point in my opinion, will be a good thing for our country.
Americans long to do better.
I'm no expert of any kind and have no unique wisdom that others don't have. However, in my life's experiences thus far I've come to the conclusion that all human beings, all Americans for the sake of this post, want to do better. That desire is within our consciences whether placed there by genetics or training, or both. And that "doing better" cannot simply be reduced to accumulating material possessions, either. We want to be better citizens, fathers, mothers, workers, and friends. We wish we had better self-discipline, more ambition, a shorter fuse, a kinder heart. We know we are inherently selfish and that realization nags us, prods us to choose a more inclusive and compassionate path.
Disciplined, focused and credible leadership, especially by example, encourages us to do better ourselves. Fellow workers, fellow students, our supervisors, our big bosses, our law enforcers....if they exhibit discipline, fairness, a focus on problem solving and a respect for everyone's humanity.....all become good examples for us, they inspire us to do better ourselves. We all know how we respond when a boss, an acquaintance, a church member, a president, a cop, etc.....does not demonstrate discipline, focus or respect for others. We reflexively respond in kind.....exacerbating whatever problem that is under consideration.
Can you imagine what Americans could have accomplished immediately after 9-11 if only we would have had a focused, disciplined and intelligent president in office? Americans were yearning for a strong leader to inspire us and tell us what it was that we could do for the common good.
The most impressive quality of Barack Obama, as evidenced in his long campaign, is his disciplined, focused and credible leadership by example. He could have campaigned down in the gutter, he chose not to. Obama has, indeed, been calling out to our "better angels." No red states, he says, no blue states,.....only the United States. We know what he's saying is true. Our competitive natures call us to draw lines of division and then to demonize those on the other side of those lines. Obama calls us to erase the lines and to understand America as one again. We know he's right.
Obama's leadership example, combined with his communication skills, has resonated with Americans everywhere. Americans will continue to respond to Obama after he is inaugurated. We are starving for focused, disciplined, inclusive and intelligent leadership. Americans, in turn, will become more focused, disciplined, inclusive and yes, more intelligent, about what's really important during an Obama presidency. It's the way humans work. A good coach can rally even the least talented player to reach for his/her potential. A good president can do the same for a nation.
If a President Obama uses his natural telegenic skills as he should, he will be able to continually call us to a greater good.....something George W. Bush was never able to accomplish in 8 long years.....and we will become a better people because of it.
No, he's not Superman, the Messiah, the One, That One, the Sultan,....or any of the divisive and derisive names he's been called....he is only one man.....but by God, one man can make a difference and we all know by experience that that is the truth.
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