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Friday, January 04, 2008

Sorry for the Confusion...

...about my "Woot!"

When I started this blog (almost two years ago now, wow!) it was as a place to post pictures of my stitching for the xstitchinprogress yahoo group. Very quickly, though, it became more of a journal than I've ever been able to maintain before, and from time to time I have used the space for my very blue, very left-wing-liberal-union-goon rants.

I'm a teacher. I teach eighth-grade history, and in California that means I get to introduce kids to the Constitution. I love my country and I love the Constitution. And as a lover of my country and my Constitution, I celebrate every person's right to believe in what they believe and support the causes they believe are the right causes.

As long as those causes are moving us continually toward achieving the ideals upon which our country was founded.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Government exists, according to the founders, only for the purpose of ensuring life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for ALL. Somehow, we've moved away from these ideals. Our leadership seems to believe that these rights only exist for "right thinking" people ("right thinking" being people who agree with them.) We need new leadership to help us get back on that right path, the path of ensuring that ALL people are secure in their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Last night in Iowa, Barack Obama won, by a significant margin, the Democratic caucus In Iowa. More importantly, the Dems nearly DOUBLED participation in the caucus process over the previous caucus, itself a record-setting turnout. And the numbers came mostly from the participation of younger voters.

David Brooks of the New York Times wrote of Obama's victory in Iowa,

Whatever their political affiliations, Americans are going to feel good about the Obama victory, which is a story of youth, possibility and unity through diversity — the primordial themes of the American experience.

Iowa is, of course, only the first of the opportunities for Americans to have a say in who will lead us. At this point it is WAY too early to tell who the candidates will be on November's ballot. And at this point, I'm not even sure who I will vote for in California's primary next month. But I am excited about the Obama victory last night.

"They" said that Obama wouldn't win in Iowa because he is African-American and Iowa only has 2.9% African-American population.

I was in New Orleans just two months before Katrina. The neglect of the poor, black population that still suffers there does not suprise me; the pervasive racism in the city did.

So this is what excites me about Obama's victory last night. A consistently conservative, mostly white population has thrown its support behind a man with a message of change and FINALLY, he is being "not ... judged by the color of [his] skin but by the content of [his] character."

In 1989 a man found what he thought was a reproduction of one of the 200 original broadsides of the Declaration of Independence. It was later authenticated as the real thing, and television producer and philanthropist Norman Lear bought it at auction for millions of dollars. For three-and-a-half years the broadside toured the country in Lear's Declaration of Independence Road Trip, a project to bring the Declaration to the people. In addition, in 2001 Lear produced "The Declaration of Independence Road Trip: A Living Blueprint for Democracy," a teaching unit on the Declaration that I was fortunate to receive at no cost for use in my classroom. Every year it is my privilege to play the video of the reading of the Declaration.

To commemorate the historic Obama victory in the Iowa Democratic Caucus last night, I include this link. I hope you can watch at least the introduction by Morgan Freeman, where he explains for me why Obama's victory is so exciting. For me, his victory shows that as we continue our "constant struggle to achieve [the] goals" of the Declaration of Independence, there is still hope that someday we may achieve them.

2 comments:

chiloe said...

Poor Missy who thought she may have won big bucks !!! lol That was funny Missy: I really laughed !!!

Now I understand ;-)

Missy said...

Hey Debi...

WOOOOOT!

Seriously, I am so excited about this. Possibly even more than if Ed showed up on my doorstep with the giant check.

I have to admit, it is totally bizarre that you teach History. When I first went to college, I wanted to teach High School History. YIKES!

: )