Bush promised to be a uniter, but instead he and Karl Rove waged the cultural war better (worse?) than Nixon ever did. Bush's America not only waged war with half the planet ("with us or against us"), Bush's "all politics, all the time" policy insured that America was continually at war with itself.
Continuing that war in the current campaign for the White House, the Republican party has no qualms about inciting divisiveness using Mr. Obama's race, but if anything, the real race card is something our country is embracing.
A President Obama's mixed heritage might become a much needed symbol of America's diversity, and the man himself clearly intends on representing all Americans, not just the rich one's that install money, like an armed road block, between the electorate and the legislature.
In Mr. Obama's vision, it isn't black v. white, America v. the world, Christians, v. Muslims, North v. South, or rich v. poor. That polarizing perspective has put America in a heap of trouble both domestically and internationally.
For Barack H. Obama, the H stands for harmony. It stands for real honor and for the disciplined heroism required to see past the divisiveness that so efficiently serves the outdated institutions of economic and political centralized power. H. knows that winning this cultural war is accomplished by conquering divisiveness itself.
Which means this isn't a war that one man can win alone. If, as president, Mr. H. can foster that vision of harmony to America, then we will all be armed with the qualities needed to fight the demons of divisiveness within ourselves.
The seeds of harmony are everywhere in this great country, and they don't even need much nurturing. To germinate, more than anything they need to be kept away from the roasting fires of hate, intolerance, and bigotry.
Sure, there are millions of Americans still habitually addicted to the divisiveness. Hard to blame them when the cultural war has practically been institutionalized in dozens of blogs, Fox News, and the Republican Party.
But vastly more are tired of it. It expends energy and requires attention that can be harnessed to confront the serious economic, environmental, and educational challenges America faces.
Maybe hope has got the better of reason and realities, but isn't that what the H also stands for? When the war is over, let's hope a new tone pervades the country. There will still be variety of opinion, and probably much more diversity and freedom to express alternatives and contrary points of view. No one will ever again ask, "If you don't agree with the President, why don't you leave?"
The loyal oppositions will be loyal to America -- and to humanity -- first, before party, pride, and provincialism.
And if the H stands for humility, Barack H. Obama is also humble enough to realize that this presidency is bigger than him. If he is, then it will be.