Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Cutting Edge

Since Super Tuesday’s sweep of the primaries, one thing has become crystal clear. Whether it’s Obama, or Clinton, who gets the Democratic Party nomination ultimately doesn’t matter, if the only change that happens is polemical. Risk-takers only need apply.

Leave rhetoric to the rhetoricians. Those who play it close to the vest can’t be expected to make the hard choices, or take the tough path, but only that which is familiar and convenient. And, this election more than any in recent memory, familiarity breeds contempt.

Courage often requires going out on a limb, and we need leadership that is prepared to do that. Progressive leadership requires speaking up on incendiary issues, even if it means alienating important lobbies. More of the same means feeding the war machine, and doing so with their own weapons.

Senator Obama’s advantage is not just his ability, and agility at reaching out to people across racial, economic, political, and social lines, in this country, but in the promise that he will be able to do so internationally, as well. Given that only about 10% of the world’s population is “white,” and that only a fraction of that percentage controls most of the world’s wealth, and starts most of the world’s wars, electing a president who reflects the predominant race is a good place to start on the road to move from a planet in peril to a planet at peace.

Obama’s candidacy may well have the added advantage of facilitating negotiations with the so-called “axis of evil” insofar as his candidacy’s implicit acceptance of cultural, and religious diversity, concepts which are alien to this administration, and its predecessors.

When Senator Clinton says that Obama is “naive” to talk about sitting down at table with the heads of state in Iran, and North Korea it might be naive for her, but not for a man of color given that 90% of the world is either black, brown, or yellow, but not “white.”

Senator Obama has the charisma, charm, wit, and stamina. Even if it may be said that hope is a four letter word, we can still hope he will be ready, willing, and able to cut his teeth on the cutting edge.