Monday, July 4, 2016

Revisiting my 2009 4th of July post

While trying to figure out how best to re-organize my blog, I came across this July 4, 2009 post, "Why I feel better about the 4th of July now that Obama is President.” From the post:

Yes, the 4th of July feels different with Obama as President. To quote Michelle, for the first time in my life, I feel proud of my country.

I brought it up at a 4th of July dinner with my sister, her husband and some friends. My sister said she never liked the 4th of July. It was always hellishly hot, and when her kids were young she had to go to those awful barbecues, parades and mosquito-infested fireworks displays. And as a member of the Vietnam War generation, she didn’t feel very good about her country. None of our friends were the patriotic types.

When we talked about it over the phone yesterday, she said that Obama’s election made her feel more patriotic not just because his victory signals that racism is waning, but also because Obama obviously loves his country warts and all. If he could get over what he called our country's “tragic history,’ maybe she could too. I had never thought of it that way but it made sense and maybe explained some of my (more or less) change of heart.

In this and other posts written in the first year of the Obama administration before the extent of Republican obstructionism and the depth of Tea Party racism became apparent, I was an optimist. Subsequent years have tempered that optimism although it has not diminished my admiration for Obama. I would happily vote for him for a third term.

Although (I think) on some level I still believe that the arc of history bends towards justice, the optimism of the 2008 election is long gone. I have difficulty believing that this country could actually elect a racist buffoon like Trump. I will be working for Hillary but with grim determination--not the joyous optimism of 2008.

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