Let us keep our heads. But let us not numb our hearts. Somewhere in a Burkean idyll, countless Americans who lived before us, the souls of so many black folk and white folk across the centuries, are watching. What would Washington have said? How could Lincoln believe it? How amazed would Martin Luther King be?
We are indeed on the verge of something that seems even more incredible the closer it gets, something more than a mere election. This is America, after all. It is a place that has seen great cruelty and hardship in its time. But it is also a place that yearns to believe naively in mornings rather than evenings, that cherishes dawns over dusks, that is not embarrassed by its own sense of destiny. In this unlikely mixed-race figure of Barack Obama, we will for a brief moment perhaps see a nation reimagined and a world of possibilities open up. For a brief moment at least.
As they have learnt to say in some of the most blighted parts of the world at some of the most desperate times: know hope.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
What are we about to do?
Andrew Sullivan, on what America is poised to do in 48 hours: