In a little known video clip from 1961, then Attorney General, Robert Kennedy, suggested that in the near or foreseeable future, a "negro" could be President of the United States. As it turned out, he was right. Although I voted for Barack Obama twice, I wasn't too sure he was electable, especially since his name was quite foreign, and Muslim-like in a time after 9/11. I believe the right man won in 2008 and 2012, and he will get much credit for helping the United States avoid a real fiscal cliff, as in "a depression". Republicans ridicule his spending, but doing nothing after the mess Bush left would have certainly pushed America into another Great Depression.In fact, there's many economists around the world who thought the stimulus wasn't enough. Our own Great Depression which began in 1929 was finally stopped because we went to war, in 1941. The billions America had to invest to fight the war was a stimulus. We got into the war on December 8th, 1941, and by the end of that month, our unemployment rate fell below 10% for the first time in almost a decade.
Although like many, I write and say many derogatory things about America (it's almost too easy-just watch a minute of Honey Boo Boo), I find it very satisfying that the President will be (publicly) inaugurated for his second term on Martin Luther King's holiday. What better way to honor a man who gave his life in the battle for civil rights? King would have been more than satisfied to watch a man of color become President, not to mention for two terms. Obama's presidency wasn't just a fluke. Think about the bullet we dodged by NOT voting in the likes of John McCain or Mitt Romney. Although once a political maverick brave enough to buck his own party-line, McCain devolved into an angry old coot whose first decision as Republican nominee was to pick Sarah Palin as his VP choice: enough said there about his ability to make serious decisions. Romney was ready to double-down on trickle-down, and we know what that failed policy did for America.
President Obama has a tough road ahead in his second term: he needs to reach out to Republicans and get to know the party base better. It probably won't do any good to try and reason with the extreme right of that party (which is-in essence-now the party base) but he should try. The Democrats in the Senate need to put out a budget that makes sense, and that must include entitlement reform.Obama needs to make big decisions and move the country back into an economic engine which can provide well paying jobs to all who want to work. In that regard he'll need to work with Republicans. The housing market is coming back which can help drive a recovery. Passing serious immigration reform should be easier since Republicans can either help work that out or further disappear into the political wilderness. We also need to seek a way for college students to graduate without being buried in debt. Obamacare needs to be tweaked into a system which can help lower medical costs in a way that makes sense. Americans don't have the finest medical care in the world, and unlike other developed countries, too many of our citizens end up in bankruptcy because of hospitalization.
Martin Luther King gave his life so that Barack Obama and people of color could succeed, and be on the same playing field as white people. One of America's greatest mistakes wasn't just slavery, but keeping people of color segregated and kept as second-class citizens for most of our history. President Obama is the best evidence of his dream becoming reality, but we would be foolish to think King's total dream has been realized. Black on black crime makes up most what gun violence is all about in America. Check out what prison population numbers reveal, and you'll see a nightmare-not a dream. More black Americans need to be brought into the "system" meaning a real education and chance at making a living. It's not easy to change cultural barriers, but so much has been achieved since 1961 when Robert Kennedy made his prediction. Today is truly a time to look back, and for once, realize America can progress and make life better for its citizens. Our forefathers created a brilliant blueprint for success, but its interpretation and our road from that beginning has been a difficult path to navigate. We just need to remain on that road and do our best to avoid the hazards. America's always been defined as a work in progress, so we need to remember not to get lazy as we move ahead. Martin Luther King fought for his dream until the day he died trying to make it real.