What an extraordinary week for this country. Ten days ago the tragedy of Charleston once again ripped open and exposed the gaping racial wound we’ve been trying to hide for so long. And instead of dividing us, this act of terror and hate had just the opposite effect. The willingness to confront what we have attempted to avoid for so long has uncovered the heart of the real America, the real Moral Majority which is as it always has been, full of the desire to live in peace, as one people. That is not to say that there are not some who still hate. There always will be those who choose to do so. But their numbers are fading.
In my own community, the Supreme Court has changed history for us with its decision on marriage. To underestimate the depth of this moment in time would be sad, because it ranks right up there with many of the civil rights victories of the past. An entire segment of tax paying, law abiding citizens, whose only crime was to love someone, has been given the basic human right to build a family, build a life, and build a future together.
With regard to President Obama. It is said that the times will produce the leaders its people need, and I believe that this man and this nation were meant to be. I’ve seen nine Presidents come and go in my lifetime. I cannot remember when I felt more connected to one than President Obama. For all the contentiousness and flak thrown his way, he has demonstrated the meaning of grace under pressure.
When the country was on the verge of collapse, he found a way to bring it back. And while the ACA may still be a work in progress, there is no denying that 6 million people now have health insurance who didn’t have it before. He has saved the auto industry, championed alternative energy, and fought for the LGBT community, maybe not from Day One, but not long after. And after seeing his eulogy today in Charleston, I am convinced that he will go down in history as one of the truly great Presidents.
For the people who despise him, go right ahead. That is your right. But long after history has dismissed the politics of hate, his legacy will be felt by generations to come. He is the Franklin Roosevelt of our time.
This week has a feel about it that is very reminiscent of the social changes made in the 1960s. I told a friend that in a conversation today that I think and feel that what we have seen in this country over the past ten days marks the beginning of a post baby boomer movement. The time for my generation and the remnants of my parents’ generation is over. A new day is dawning. I wish them Godspeed.