Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Race, Obama & Progress

Many wonder what effect racism will have on the campaign of Barack Obama. A feeling is that some will not vote for Mr. Obama because he is black.

I see this question somewhat differently.

People have the feelings they have. There are racist people in the United States. But it is one thing to have racist feelings, and another thing to act upon those feelings. It’s possible to have negative impressions of another group of people, and at the same time to realize what you feel may not be the best course to follow in life.

I think there are people who have the chance to do the right thing in 2008 and who will do the right thing. What I mean by this are Democrats, or others willing to consider Barack Obama, but who are disinclined to vote for Mr. Obama because of his race.

There will be some number of people such as I describe above, who will examine their hearts and minds and make the call for Mr. Obama. This even while race is something that matters to them.

I think Harry Truman is an example of a man who knew his own limits, and then gave thought to what his values and actions should be despite those limits. President Truman’s desegregation of the Army is one of the great acts of American Presidential leadership. Who would have thought that this man who formed his identity in late 19th century and early 20th century Missouri, would strike such a strong blow for freedom?   

Maybe you know somebody in your own life who thought out a tough question and decided to move past old feelings.

Whether the issue is race or some other concern, is their anybody, including myself, who could not stand to examine their own limits and see where further thought and personal progress is possible?

I don’t know how it will all turn out in November, but I am glad to know that some of our fellow Americans will examine their hearts and minds on Election Day and decide to move forward.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Excellent Remarks By Former Republican Rep. Leach At Convention Last Night

While speechs by Senator Ted Kennedy and Michelle Obama were, correctly, the headlining events from yesterday’s session of the Democratic National Convention, remarks by former Republican U.S. Representative Jim Leach of Iowa ( painting above) also merit attention.

Mr. Leach discussed why he was endorsing the Democratic candidate in 2008 and provided something of a history lesson as well. From Mr. Leach you got sense of someone truly concerned for his country rather than the personal anger and score-settling that drives Joe Lieberman away from the Democratic Party.  

Mr. Leach speaks here of a Republican Party that lost its way with the reckless invasion of Iraq, and the prospect of a strong new direction for America at home and abroad offered by Barack Obama. 

Mr. Leach served in Congress between 1977 and 2007. He was defeated for reelection in 2006. Mr. Leach represented Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and much of Southeastern Iowa.

Here is some further information about Mr. Leach.

Here is the full transcript of what Mr. Leach said at the convention last night—

As a Republican, I stand before you with deep respect for the history and traditions of my political party. But it is clear to all Americans that something is out of kilter in our great republic. In less than a decade America’s political and economic standing in the world has been diminished. Our nation’s extraordinary leadership in so many areas is simply not reflected in the partisan bickering and ideological politics of Washington. Seldom has the case for an inspiring new political ethic been more compelling. And seldom has an emerging leader so matched the needs of the moment.
 
The platform of this transformative figure is a call for change. The change Barack Obama is advocating is far more than a break with today’s politics. It is a clarion call for renewal rooted in time-tested American values that tap Republican, as well as Democratic traditions.
 
Perspective is difficult to bring to events of the day, but in sweeping terms, there have been four great debates in our history to which both parties have contributed. The first debate, led by Thomas Jefferson, the first Democrat to be elected president, centered on the question of whether a country could be established, based on The Rights of Man.

The second debate, led by Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican to be elected president, was about definitions—whether The Rights of Man applied to individuals who were neither pale nor male. It took almost two centuries of struggle, hallmarked by a civil war, the suffrage and abolitionist movements, the Harlem renaissance and a courageous civil rights leadership to bring meaning to the values embedded in the Declaration of Independence.
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August 26, 2008 Posted by | Campaign 2008, Politics | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment