HistoricalSince everyone is talking about the economy, I thought I'd talk about politics. No, they are not related, no matter how much the candidates try to tell you they are responsible for all the economic good times that have ever been, and how we blame them by voting them out whenever times get bad. The truth is the economy isn't affected all that much by what politicians do. There's even some sentiment that all of the New Deal efforts didn't bring us out of the Great Depression, but it was only World War II that got the economy rolling again. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. I never believed in Kennedy the way some of my compatriots did. I mean believed. He was going to save the world, restore good honest government and lead us all into a brilliant American future. I didn't believe it. The passage of time has tarnished his image somewhat, but I don't want to say, "I told you so." I've come to a different understanding, today. Because today, I do believe. Oh, maybe not believe, but still something in my heart responds when I hear the President Elect speak. I am still as cynical as I was in my youth, but I'm more weary and looking for a way out. I'm tired to my soul of the cynicism, tired of leaders who have no charisma and talk about "mandates" when in fact they lost the popular vote, tired of the endless catfights over political property rights when we all know that there really aren't huge differences between the major American parties or even elected officials. Kennedy made a lot of people believe. When he said "Ask not what your country can do for you..." he restored faith in American ideals. Yes, LBJ was the one who really got the ideas and ideals enacted but it was Kennedy who set the environment that made them possible. And he did that by telling us about a better world. A world we wanted to believe was possible, a world that is implicit, I think, in those American ideals. Creating that belief is what a good politician does, because, in the end, we are the ones who make the change. And, today, every time I hear him speak, Barack Obama makes me hope. Not that he'll be any world changing force, but that he'll restore our faith in ourselves. I know I need that.
4 Dec 2008
Copyright © 2008 Truck Smith