I don’t “do” politics. I try to stay off political soap boxes entirely or to make sure they are close to the ground if I do step up. This is because I am politically awkward and could easily lose my oratorical balance and fall flat on my face.
So that means I’m often silent during the aftermath of events like the recent shooting at Sandy Hook elementary. Not that I am any less saddened or outraged than other people. Others are just so much better than I am at stating outrage and demands for action.
I also said nothing during the election and avoided ads and Facebook diatribes as much as possible.Obama was my candidate of choice but I do not intend to get into any discussions about the pros and cons of his term as president. I’ve heard those complaints and the ones about him getting the Noble Peace Prize and the most recent groaning over his getting named person of the year by Time magazine. If anything, I think calling out only one person for that kind of recognition is ridiculous anyway. There are many people out there making wonderful, magnanimous and meaningful contributions that never get recognized, but since the best of them aren’t doing it because they want recognition, I don’t get bent out of shape if they don’t get any. Goodness is its own reward.
What I do want to say is that there are moments that happen during our lifetimes that are like tick marks on the timeline of history. You know which ones I’m talking about, things like 9/11 and Sandy Hook, the first man on the moon and the assassination of JFK. Those events that are significant not just in your life, but in the grand scheme of life for everyone.
When Obama was elected for the first time, I felt another check mark etched in my brain. This country that still vibrates with the after effects of a nation that condoned and even fought for their right to own slaves, elected a black president. Even better, a black president who sounded like a real person instead of a politician. On that day, I was proud of us, and felt we had taken one of those forward steps that often follow and precede two steps back. This is why I’m highlighting this article which is old news by now. Like him or not, think he deserves the recognition or not, I challenge anyone to argue that this man’s name is going to be one of the memorable ones for the rest of human history.
He will take the oath on Jan. 20 as the first Democrat in more than 75 years to get a majority of the popular vote twice. Only five other Presidents have done that in all of U.S. history.