Dr. King Reflecting on the Journey

Dr. King Reflecting on the Journey
"Infamous, this day in Memphis, city of my demise."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Change We Can Believe In or More of The Same?

Following is a very clever and well-written poem. I contacted the blog link and complimented the poet, adding the hope that he will use his tremendous talent to write something more hopeful and not continue the partisanism that has gotten our nation into the state it's in today. The fact that this is being passed around indicates to me that some of us didn't get President Obama's message January 20, 2009, when he said, "On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics. We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things."

It may not be "childish" to 'dis' the opposing party, but it is definitely counter-productive. Obviously, this was not what President Obama had in mind when he sat down with the leading conservative Republicans at George Will's house or when he hosted a bi-partisan party for John McCain or appointed Republicans to his cabinet. He seems to be intent on healing the party rifts that have dominated the last two administrations. However, if the people who elected him and support his administration continue to 'bash' people because of their political affiliations, there won't be any change in the way this country is governed.

I listen to news programs that repeatedly talk about the number of Republicans who are supporting President Obama and are trying to work with him. I'm sure there are some who still aren't, but in respect for those who are, shouldn't Democrats and the Independents who he's asked to help him with the changes he is trying to affect cease and desist with the venom and rancor?

Perhaps I'm too idealistic, but what I saw yesterday on the Washington Mall was not a sea of people, but a sea of hope. Was that hope just for a single day? Now that we have a black President, do we go back to business as usual as if getting a black man elected is the end of the story? President Obama doesn't think so. He made it very clear at the Inauguration Balls he attended last night that this is just the beginning.

So, how do we begin? My hope was that the hope I saw in the eyes of those witnessing the swearing in of a new President yesterday would continue and flourish. My hope was that the American people heard the President's message and are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices to bring prosperity back to our nation. He's not going to wave a magic wand and end all of our troubles; he's going to roll up his sleeves and we need to be prepared to roll up ours. However, the needed sacrifices aren't just in the area of hard work. We also need to sacrifice our old attitudes.

I had to remind my mother who still retains the attitudes expressed in the following poem that Republicans haven't been alone in practicing 'dirty politics.' Look at the smear campaigns during the Democratic primaries, as well as the concerted efforts to destroy Sarah Palin, going as far as attacking her teenage daughter. Not that the Republicans didn't do the same. But the point is when does it stop?

President Obama is asking Americans to work together? Can we? Before you repeat the mantra, "Yes, we can!" be aware that by saying that you are taking an oath as sacred and as solemn as the one the President took yesterday to rise above this kind of partisan bias and make an effort to do what the President proclaimed yesterday. "On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord."

The poem below ends with the mantra, "YES, WE CAN!" Can what? Yes, we can do a lot of things, including continuing the bickering on Capitol Hill, the racial prejudice on Main Street, and the financial corruption on Wall Street. We can do all of that and a whole lot more of "the same old" things we've been doing. The issue not what we can do, but what we will do to bring about change.

So, read the poem and laugh if you find it humorous and admire the poetic flair of the poet. Then, if you're a Democrat, find a Republican and do what President and First Lady Obama did to former President and First Lady Laura Bush as they prepared to board a helicopter to make their final departure from the nation's capitol: HUGGED THEM! Let this be the new mantra of those Democrats who pledge to help the President create a "post-partisan" America:


Twas the Night Before Inauguration
By John Cobarruvias
T'was the night before inauguration and what to my dismay
The market was tanking, I lost my 401K!
The stocks were hung, in downfall they stuck
While Bush did nothing, a truly lame duck
The republicans were nestled, their heads in the sand
With visions of defeat of the republican brand.
And Cheney with his gun, his heart a pace
Looking for someone, to shoot in the face.
When out on the house floor, there came such a clatter
I sprang to the internets to find what's the matter.
Away to my screen I ran with a flash
Hoping the market, didn't crash.
The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow
Showed me someone I needed to know.
When what to my eyes, I paused, with a comma
But a vision of hope, It was Barack Obama!
With excitement and conviction in each of his steps
I wondered what he and his elves, would do next.
More rapid than eagles his appointments they came
And he whistled and shouted, and called them by name.
Now Emanuel! Now, Dashle! Now Richardson and Biden!
On, Clinton, On Napolitano, and Gates, no sense in hiding!
To fix the economy, our reputation and more.
And to stop the killing of this unnecessary war.
As Obama stood still, the republicans they trembled
Remembering 8 years of a disaster they had assembled.
They've broken our banks, and doubled our debt.
They scared us to death with weapons of threats.
They squandered a surplus, They started a war.
They shredded our constitution, littered on the floor.
They attack our unions, our immigrants and those who are gay.
They claim to be Christians, yet on the sick they prey.
We may never recover from this hole they dug.
But we will climb to the top with a American tug.
The republican party have destroyed all that matters
They deserve nothing more but to hold the damn ladder.
But his voice did change, along with a smile.
Thinking of the bills that soon would be filed.
Protect those who are old and young alike
Restore our honor and our military might.
Protect our planet, and clean our air.
While creating a surplus we can leave to our heirs
Fix our economy, and health care for all.
And honor those who fought, and those who fall.
Obama sprang to his feet, to his team he gave a shout.
The challenges seem impossible, hard work needed no doubt
But I heard him exclaim ere he talked and ran.
Hey! It's not just a slogan,

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