We read in the epic work called human history that all great nations are first ruined from within before they are destroyed from without. From our vantage in time we can see that our ancient civilization’s wonders were only dwarfed by their leader’s decadence, their ignorance to reason and the superstitions that held their populations in thrall.
We can page forward thousands of years and marvel at our barbarism. The manipulation of the uneducated masses by a few powerful interests to the detriment of all is a timeless story. Such forces once kept the world warring for centuries over a small, arid piece of real estate with a few ancient buildings crumbling upon it. As if humanity collectively decided to leave behind what progress and enlightenment was once attained and decided to fight over sand and stone instead. A prosperous and ambitious few carrying a banner of madness high overhead.
Paging forward again we all recoil at the ideological extremes of the modern era and the great wars fought over them. The Institutionalized racism that sought to eliminate diversity, purge individualism, extinct entire cultures, prevent blacks from serving their country in arms, we all know to be folly. We mock Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Hirohito, how mad they were! Even more insidious then their face value, they were all the iron fist of concentrated power, of corporate and institutional collusion against the interests of their people.
Still, throughout time, there have been different kinds of transformational figures who catapulted their societies out of dark ages, and sometimes the world followed. You can always tell them by the inclusive way in which they speak, and their stated desire to unify vastly different people instead of play on the issues that divide them. These leaders turn societies from small-minded, nationalist pursuits towards much larger goals. Towards paradigm shifts that bring us further along from all these troubles, ancient and modern, that otherwise diminish us.
The shoes of a community organizer cut a stark contrast from those of the spend crazy competition (first seen on Born to Be Nervous).
Such leaders come about rarely. Timing is everything, and even then the forces of the status quo always seek to suppress them. Galileo Galilei lived out his life imprisoned for ideas that would only later be recognized as having birthed modern science. Ideas that call for change always threaten entrenched selfish interests and are easy to rally the fearful against.
Likewise those who’ve struggled to appeal to our better natures are most often persecuted for their unifying efforts. We know the fates of people like Ghandi, Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., of Jesus all too well.
America needed a transformational figure 8 years ago, it needed one even more 4 years ago. Now, with a global economic collapse, our resources running out, and stuck in 2 wars, it’s not just America, but the entire world that needs one.
We have dwelt in the darkness of fleeting, divisive issues far too long. We need a total paradigm shift. Barack Obama offers this possibility like no other leader in my lifetime. Not only because of who he is, or because he offers progressive ideas coupled with compromise on those things that would divide us, but because he has all along sought to appeal to our better nature.
If you are clear of mind and spirit and possess the intellectual curiosity gifted to most of us as human beings, you must give him the chance to help us turn this page… so that we may all live and love to read on. This story doesn’t write itself, we all play a part.