The year 2008 will be hard to forget. We have enjoyed and suffered some governmental shenanigans that still shake both political parties. We have seen, in this miraculous year, a black man rise to the position of president of these amazing United States. Last year, none of us truly believed that it would or could happen. No one would make book on that bet.
Who considered the numbers and the ribald chanting of those college kids in the western states that few of us could locate without grabbing the road atlas. Who in this world would have bet the young people would have a voice in any political debate? "They are too busy with school and themselves," we said. "They are thinking about the car they want or what they are going to wear to the party, and anyway they do not vote, we assured all of our friends and neighbors. "They never have," we chanted, "and it will be a few years before they play a part in political controversy."
Oh, how wrong we were. That Obama fellow appealed to those kids that were not thinking about the car, party or school. They wanted to be seen and heard, and they played a major voice in this political upset. My grandmother's words were played over and over again in my head, "The egg knows more than the chicken."
Then we, "the wise ones," saw our parties fighting for a place in this battle of words and debates. We saw disappointment, rejection and failure. We saw millions of dollars spent, trying to prove that what one person said was truer than the words of another. It was, in the classic political world of America, a time of supreme foolishness and a period of blatant disrespect, played out in our own democratic system.
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Now in January, that young man that chanted "change," in a cadence that shook the very souls of Americans, will stand with his good-looking wife and their two young daughters, smile his toothy smile and promise us that he will do his best to make the necessary changes. That he will indeed, think about the poor, the sick, the confused, the old and the young, the very ones who first believed in him. The very ones who knew in their hearts that our educational systems were not up to par and this contender, whose name they chanted, did not ignore it or make lame excuses and develop a new name for the same old thing, but instead he met the need head-on and gave hope to teachers and educators at all levels.
He promised us that he would keep his word if he were elected, and he was. So now, we only have one choice, to believe in him and to pray for his success -- for when he achieves, we are the benefactors.
Shaking your head and smiling in a knowing way tells the viewer, "He can't make it work." Please, those of you who are guilty of that jaded action, have a second look at this young man. Forget his father's history; he was simply a man who never found his way, although he possessed a mentality that could have done wonderful things for his country, his family and himself.
However, you must remember his mother and her mother and father, who took this baby boy and nurtured him, giving him hope, strict rules and the simple desire to face every deed or chore with pride, hope and direction, coupled with an honest attitude. They made him brave and diligent, the two things that it takes to be successful in this word of political capers. Before you close your eyes at night, ask God to favor him, to lead him and to give him guidance in this land of financial upheaval and social vandalism.
It is a time when we must come together and work for the best of the country and all the folks who live here. It is a time when the politicians, the leaders and the simple citizens who inhabit this place face great problems. Who or what caused them can be solved at a later time, now, the "fixing" of the economy, the health needs and the overpowering lack of education must be rearranged, and it can only be done with whole-hearted support from all of us.
No one has the right to ask you to love our new president, but all of us must respect him and speak well of him. The world is watching, and we certainly want to show a pleasant face and speak in a mannerly voice.
The above is my opinion, and since I am on this page, I decided to take advantage of my literary location in this last column of 2008.
It has been a grand year, and I thank you. All of the folks who read me know that I wish you and the ones who do not even know my name, a wonderful New Year with all the health and good wishes that one person could enjoy. You have been my friends, and I am richer.