Would the Pope be a "Shepherd" without the respect and trust of millions of believers? Would Jerry Garcia have been a spiritual musical force without the Deadheads? Would Rudolph Giuliani have been "America's Mayor" without bi-partisan sentiments after the attacks on 9/11?
To understand where we are now, I would suggest reading Joseph Campbell and seeing the movie "The Help".
I spend my evenings as a bartender and my days building and repairing furniture. Last evening I had a customer belly up to the bar and rant about President Obama's speech. Pretty Quickly there was a chorus of ranters at the bar. I like all these folks-they are good tippers and my neighbors. However, something profoundly ugly permeated the place and it wasn't the odor of stale beer. It was what was unspoken, yet mutually acknowledged and implied: the President is a Socialist Ni**er.
I saw the movie "The Help" this past weekend. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a long time. It's a story I've always wanted to tell. It's the story of us Southern white children that were raised by beautiful, soulful, strong black women. It's a story told from our point of view. It's a story about the trauma we suffered as a result of horrible, all pervasive racism. These women fed us, cleaned us, taught us and nurtured us against all reason: many of us would grow up to be rabid racists. How and Why? Because something profoundly shameful and unforgivable was done to us: our parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts told us in word and deed that these amazing women, that we loved, lacked our white humanity and were ni**ers. They broke our hearts and demanded that we make a terrible choice.
Is the country making a terrible choice now? Are we choosing to abandon our President because of the present political and economic conditions that, in my opinion, are a result, in large part, to veiled racism which fuels much present reactionary politics?
Do I agree with everything President Obama has done, no. I am very disappointed with him not standing up for the environment last week. Do I like him not treating the criminals on Wall Street as criminals, no. Do I like that he has chosen to play softball with the Republican opposition, no. However to abandon him now would be an acknowledgement on my part that I am powerless.
I am embarrassed by all the Democrats, Leftists and Progressives that are buying into the "terrible choice" promulgated by the Right and embraced by those on the left that are willing to feign powerlessness.
If I remember correctly, Joseph Campbell in telling the story of the hero's journey, tells us about the stage when the hero, after his call to action, loses momentum, needs guidance and is consequently empowered to finish his quest with the help of a mentor or supernatural forcewe are this force. We can be what we want to be and President Obama can be what we want him to be by walking with the hero on his journey.