The question remains in my mind whether or not the success of President Obama's mercurial rise to power was a matter of political expediency, as opposed to any other factor(s)?
I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion this weekend, at San Jose State University. The topic had to do with Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream and the 21st Century. One of the points that was made by one of the panelists and that was also hihglighted in the program, was the impact of Doctor Martin Luther's Dream and the impact that it had on President Obama's success.
Frankly, I did not feel that the panelist were up to snuff to give an accurate appraisal of what were the determinants that led to President Obama's ascent to the White House. Clearly, there was an non-objective bias in favor of Dr. King. These folks wanted to give credit to Dr. King despite all evidence to the contrary.
Off-line, however, I was able to discuss this matter more in depth with some of who were in attendance. We concluded that the success of Obama's candidacy, a man who doesn't carry any civil rights baggage (as some purport), had a lot more to do with political expediency, as opposed to Dr. Martin Luther King's Dream.
I suspect that the Democratic nominee, whoever it would have turned out to be, would have defeated George Bush. Oh you say, George Bush was not running for office. Frankly, the candidates, even the Republican ones were running against the George Bush legacy. President Obama just happened to be in the right place at the right time in my opinion, and he gave the public what their titillating ears wanted to hear!
As a registered independent, and I have been one for years, I have always believed that the best thing to do was to vote for the best and most qualified person for the job. This year, as in the previous years my emphasis has been on doing just that and turning away from the recurrent theme of voting for nascent would be candidates to manage the highest office in the land. Looking back over the George H. Bush Jr. years, most individuals will agree with me that the man was never up to snuff in the first place. What took so long I wonder?
Former Ambassador Alan Keyes said it best approximately 9 years ago, that George H. Bush does not have the mental capacity to be President, and he proved that. What an embarrassment? What an embarrassing candidate, yet Americans voted him into office twice. When will reactive politics in America become a thing of the past?
It seems to me that Americans still have not learned their lesson yet. When Americans began to weigh in, early on, for the then junior Senator from Illinois, I was appalled. When Senator John McCain selected another unprepared individual to be his vice presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, I nearly threw up. In both of these individuals I conceded the possibility of two viable possible future candidates. I did not, and still do not feel that either of these candidates was prepared for the job, and my feelings have not changed.
From my vantage point there were 2 guilty parties involved in the most recent election fiasco, the individuals who were running, unqualified, for the offices in the first place, and the individuals who were willing to and did endorse and ho voted for more unprepared candidates. Clearly the office of the President, along with those who participate in the political process have simultaneously devolved.
Did the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King have a minor impact upon this election? Well of course it did in this sense, Americans were willing to overlook the fact that Senator Obama was in part a black man. But what Americans were more interested in was the Obama message which was in direct contradiction to the one that Senator John McCain was running on, the Reagan Bush message.
In a debate with one of my peers the other day, he boasted and then directed a rhetorical question at me, it went like this. Do you know what the impact was of Reaganism (and you might as well say Bushism)? I answered, yes I do know. It resulted in leveraged corporate buyouts, greenmail and individuals like T. Boone Pickens getting even richer.
I told him how Reagan's idea of trickle down reminded me of the biblical story about the poor man who sat at the table of the rich man waiting for trickle down. Of course my opponent denied the reality of what Reagan/Bushism actually bequeathed. But at the same time isn't it interesting the number of banks ..., that have been swallowed up as a consequence of the failed Reagan/Bush policies? It seems like we've gone back to the future, and once again an opposing party has to come in and clean up the mess - even though in both instances a small group of individuals benefited from the carnage!
Folks, you can give all of the credit for Obama's success to King Dream, however, the fact is that the American electorate was motivated more by other factors, including their personal well being. Senator Obama crafted his message well, and he do in response to where Americans were feeling the pain. And as a result then of political expediency, former Senator Obama Hussein is the current president of the United States of America.
I only hope that we will not live to regret the reactive decision that was made by the majority of Americans recently, a decision that was similar to what their opponents did when they previously selected a candidate for nomination a first and a second time - a man who was clearly not up to the task of leading this or any other nation.
Waiting to see what happens,
Rev. C. Solomon
P.S. I suspect that the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King will succeed the most when well-intended Americans, particularly black ones,
raise the spectre of the so called 'King Dream' to a more
ubiquitous and universal standard - the man won
a Nobel Peace Prize. A good
question for all of us to answer
is how does the so-called
MLK dream differ