Patriotism, Unity, & Race
Tuesday, January 22, 2008.
A Republican for Obama
The primary reasons for a Republican to support Barrack Obama are much bigger then the fact that the Republican Party that has lost its way and has not put forth a candidate that can pull together the Reagan Coalition. To be clear, I am not against my fellow Republicans, but I am being pulled toward the Obama candidacy. The drivers are as follows.
- Patriotism- I believe American Citizens who happen to be Republicans we will owe Mr. Obama a debt of gratitude for removing the Clintons from the national stage and saving our country from Clinton 2. The original was bad enough and sequels tend to be worse. Nobody likes taking out the trash early but it is a necessary and noble national chore.
- Unity- Mr. Obama's message of inclusion and efforts to build a new majority from his party, Independents and Republicans is the way to victory. Don't look now, but that is what Reagan did in 1980. He almost did it in 1976! The scorched earth policy of the Clinton era set the tone for a divisive and rude Washington. Sadly, Mr. Bush pledged to fix that but regrettably just made it worse. It is clearly time to move past Red State/Blue State and get back to Red, White, and Blue States. The challenges we face are to grand to simply continue to fight in the sand box.
- Race- Yes. Race. Very few people are willing to talk about race in a candid way, even in the privacy of their closest circle of friends. We certainly almost never get candid thoughts from candidates on the subject. Mr. Obama has been exceptionally diligent with his campaign to avoid the race card, and aims to be a leader who happens to be African American. (not an African American leader). He also happens have a white mother so his perspective on this issue is amazingly refreshing and unassuming. To be sure, the Clintons have invited him down to their sewer of shame and smut. They have clouded his sunny day approach but he has managed to defend himself and stay above the fray. I wonder if President Clinton will still be considered the "First Black President" after his efforts to play the race card against the very guy who could steal that title from him. From a historical perspective, our Country has been dealing with high levels racial tension between blacks and whites over 250 years. The founding fathers found the issue so hot they punted in order to get the country off the ground. The Missouri compromise was another punt. The Civil War was next and ended slavery but that didn't solve the problem. Reconstruction was different but not good enough so the Civil Rights movement took hold and did move the ball forward towards equality. Has the Country made progress along the way? Yes. But nowhere near close to the goal of "All men are created equal." The reason is most Americans have not learned to see the person. Black people see white People. White people see black people. A President Obama would be a President who happens to be both white and black and one who sees people. With his leadership, all Americans would learn to see things and people in a new ways. This would be a tremendous step forward on an issue that has limited this country since its inception. As a Lincoln/Reagan Republican, I can certainly live with a president who happens to be less conservative if we can make significant progress on the very difficult issue of race in America. By accomplishing this we will have a newfound unity and patriotism that we can all be proud of.
Robert D. Thomas