Dr. King Reflecting on the Journey

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

Thursday, January 8, 2009


© gjc, 1/08/09


O.K., so he said “no” before he said “yes” ala John Kerry, hitting a decisively sour note; but in the end President-Elect Obama made the right decision about Roland Burris. Regardless of what he may or may not have actually done, Illinois’ governor still has the power (and the right) to appoint someone to take over Obama’s Senate seat.

In a shrewd move, Rod Blagojevich appointed someone capable, qualified, and black to the seat vacated by our President-Elect after his election. Majority Leader Harry Reid looked pretty ineffectual trying to keep out the only African-American in the Senate, then having to capitulate after Burris got the nod from Obama.

Senator Reid may not work for Obama, but he apparently follows his soon-to-be President’s lead, and he should in this case. Same thing with the stimulus package. The President-Elect is right to want the passage of his stimulus package to be swift and big enough to actually make a difference.

Few people want the trillion dollar debt that Obama is predicting that he says we’ll have well into the future; but even fewer want to be unemployed and homeless. The stimulus package is absolutely necessary, just as were the bail-outs, however distasteful and mismanaged they may have been.

Obama’s cabinet picks, although they included only a handful of women and minorities, were wise ones. I totally support the selection of Leon Panetta as head of the CIA. Panetta has a long and distinguished public service career and is not a product of the Bush-Cheney intelligence gathering fiasco that was used to justify the Iraq War.

Going into his Inauguration Week, our future President looks pretty good. He’s made smart, thought-driven decisions on a number of issues and refused to get involved in foreign policy- making before he has the power to follow-through on those decisions. He’ll have plenty of time to deal with the Middle East once he’s sworn in next week, and I’m sure he will use more diplomacy than the present administration; I sure hope he does.

Our President Elect has also shown his ability to inspire Americans and give the nation back its passion for democracy. That’s why I sent my speech on sacrifice to his transition website, hoping he’ll include parts of it in some future speech. (I’ve included it at the end of this column.)

I look forward to watching the inauguration of our first black President and hope that all goes well next Tuesday and throughout Obama’s term, whether it is a four-year or eight-year term. The hope he has inspired in the American people is very much needed right now given the state of our economy and the economic hardships being suffered by so many American people.

God willing, that hope will turn into tangible results and our economy, international reputation, and trust in our leaders will be restored.

Godspeed, President Obama!

Someone Should Make This Speech and Inspire the Nation to Rally to the Cause of Saving Our Economy the Only Way We Can: Through Sacrifice, Patience, and Unity

“America has withstood many attacks in the past, external and internal. We fought two wars on this continent. The first was for our independence and the second war was for our union. Both times, America was victorious. We have survived a Great Depression that swept through our nation and impoverished our coffers, but not our spirits because Americans know how to fight. We fought to bring this nation into existence and to preserve its unity. We have fought to bring our nation back from the brink of economic ruin into an age of prosperity. How did we do it? We did it by making sacrifices. We sacrificed our sons and daughters in wars here and abroad fighting for the only thing worth fighting for – our freedom. We sacrificed our comfort and our physical health to do the back-breaking labor needed to bring us out of one depression. No one has asked us to make any sacrifices for some time now. However, now with our economy in such dire straits, sacrifices will have to be made. Some estimate it may take as many as ten years for us to recoup from the losses on Wall Street. What sacrifices are we willing to make to bring back the prosperity we once enjoyed? Without sacrificing our tax dollars, we will lose even more than has already been lost. Greater minds than mine can detail those losses for you and explain why we need to sacrifice so much of our resources to right this wrong to our capitalistic system. Many of you are angry because when you make bad decisions, no one bails you out and when those of you who own small businesses watch those businesses fail, no one covers those losses. You are right to be angry. Those who caused this crisis are responsible. However, they are responsible for more than just individual failures or the loss of one business. They are responsible for bringing our economy to its knees. Are we willing to make the sacrifice needed to bring it up on its feet again? A great President once said that we should not ask what our country can do for us, but what we can do for America. I’m asking you what are you willing to sacrifice for America? Is America worth a trillion dollars to you? Is our economy worth the sacrifice of your tax dollars to ensure the future of capitalism? Are you willing to pay, not to just bail-out Wall Street and the Big Three Auto Companies, but to re-build Main Street? I ask, you America, is our nation worth the sacrifice? And if your answer is ‘yes,’ will you join me in making that sacrifice and giving whatever resources we need to give and demanding the reforms and regulations necessary to make sure that our economy regains its strength? Join the millions of Americans throughout the history of this nation who’ve marched through the ages, soldiers in the freedom army, fighters for the cause of liberty, warriors for peace and prosperity. Join me, America. Join me in this effort and make whatever sacrifice we have to make for America. She’s worth it!”

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