31
Aug
07

Barack Obama: the Audacity of Hope

I know this post is late, but what I’ve been reading has relevance to our own political situation.  

I’m currently reading Barack Obama’s ‘the Audacity of Hope’ – a book credited as lifting his Presidential nomination chances for the sole reason that it projects hope for a reformed Centrist position in America.

Here’s one excerpt:

I think to myself, those ordinary citizens who have grown up in the midst of all the political and cultural battles, but who have found a way – in their own lives, at least – to make peace with their neighbours, and themselves.  I imagine the white Southernor who growing up heard his dad talk about niggers this and niggers that but who has struck up a friendship with the black guys at the office and is trying to teach his son different, who thinks discrimination is wrong but doesn’t see why the son of a black doctor should get admitted into law school ahead of his own son.  Or the former Black Panther who decided to go into real estate, bought a few buildings in the neighbourhood, and is just as tired of the drug dealers in front of those buildings as he is of the bankers who won’t give him a loan to expand his business.  There’s the middle aged feminist who still mourns her abortion, and the Christian woman who paid for her teenager’s abortion, and the millions of waitresses and temp secretaries and nurse’s assistants and Wall-Mart associates who hold their breath every single month in the hope that they’ll have enough money to support the children that they did bring into the world. 

I imagine they are waiting for a politics with the maturity to balance idealism and realism, to distinguish between what can and cannot be compromised, to admit the possibility that the other side might sometimes have a point.  They don’t always understand the arguments between right and left, conservative and liberal, but they recognise the difference between dogma and common sense, responsibility and irresponsibility, between those things that last and those that are fleeting [page 42]. 

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