6.29.2008

Obama's patriotism

From the Daily News' Stanley Crouch:

Barack Obama's realistic view of history brings truth to the party

The most interesting, even thrilling and inspiring thing about what Barack Obama has done to American political discourse is to redefine patriotism. He has taken the definition beyond the familiar body of platitudes that the phoniest of our conservative broadcast journalists and talk show hosts have made their stock in trade. As an extremely sophisticated man and law school graduate, Obama has mastered the basic skill of those in his profession. That is, the ability to create an easily comprehended narrative with compelling facts whenever possible.

[snip]

Instead of bridling at the question, Obama has remade patriotism with the proof that remains in high profile and is easily accessible to those who would like to know or to challenge it. He embraces all of the tragic elements of American history instead of pretending that they are either exaggerated or no more than radical distortions. Obama steps up to them with examples of tough-minded goodwill, courageous action and optimistic foresight that are right there on the historical record.

Yes, we had slavery, but we also had the abolition movement, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Yes, we had the terrible treatment of blue-collar workers by fat cats who were not above hiring ruffians and killers to either assault or murder the men who complained about working conditions and bad pay. Yes, the right to unionize and use collective bargaining also emerged, as did women getting the vote, the defeat of European fascism during World War II and the destruction of unconstitutional law.

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