Thursday, June 28, 2007

Politics As Usual

I'm listening to the PBS Presidential Debate with Democratic candidates. Billed as a forum to address African-American issues - the reality is that the issues are issues that impact America. When you talk about education, justice, health care, out sourcing, HIV-AIDS, am I mistaken to believe this is not isolated to race? 30 second sound bites don't provide enough insight to select a president - but it can make you think about clicking your heels with the background chorus, "there's no place like home, there's no place like home."

Only in our nation can we applaud pithy statements, followed with so little action. Most of the people on the stage are currently in government, making little to no progress, and promising whatever the audience wants to hear. I'm pained when there is little understanding that the African American voters of today are concerned with broad issues that cover more than a perceived need to rescue central city neighborhoods and the working poor. My interests include, but are not limited to, the politics of poverty.

Many of the theoretical middle class with degrees, jobs, health insurance, and private education are still failing to attain the so called American Dream - the idea of having it all is lofty at best. Our presidential election will require all of us to reflect on the values we hold most dear and entrust someone who can lead us into a financial, economic, educational, social & technological revival.

All of that leads me to my current candidate of interest - Barack Obama. Here is my latest feedback to Barack - and the many people I have worked to open their minds to his potential presidency - "WAKE UP." In a Spike Lee movie this irritating message would appear at the very moment of critical reflection. Debate performance matters. All of that energy, turn of phrase power, engaging one liners, sincerity seeping through your bones, and convincing resolve that you deserve a chance has been missing. When you stand next to the other contenders you need to stand out, not disappear. What is happening to that ability to speak audacious hope into the lives of those who have been politically dormant? The time to demonstrate those skills is NOW.

I'm still looking for the candidate the convinces me that they are in this to win it, before the next 8 years are worse than the last. Is that possible? Leadership & Power - not politics as usual, that is my hope. I hope the next debate offers more.

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