Monday, February 4th, 2008

2G2K Circus :: Tom Hayden Endorses Obama

I worry about the substance of Obama’s candidacy, and not just because I’m a former wonk. For me, it’s the difference between pragmatism and triangulation as an acceptable end (the old New Dem way) versus realism as a mode of pushing toward the real goal.

In other words, let’s be real and get everything.

Civility, the core Obama principle that excites folks like Andrew Sullivan, is important only as much as incivility is a sign of torpor or lack of imagination. But transformation is not a civil thing. I like transformation more than propriety.

All that said, I think Tom Hayden’s thoughtful endorsement of Barack Obama (written last week before Edwards dropped out) captures a lot of how I feel about the direction of Obama’s candidacy.

I have been devastated by too many tragedies and betrayals over the past 40 years to ever again deposit so much hope in any single individual, no matter how charismatic or brilliant. But today I see across the generational divide the spirit, excitement, energy and creativity of a new generation bidding to displace the old ways. Obama’s moment is their moment, and I pray that they succeed without the sufferings and betrayals my generation went through.

There really is no comparison between the Obama generation and those who would come to power with Hillary Clinton, and I suspect she knows it. The people she would take into her administration may have been reformers and idealists in their youth, but they seem to seek now a return to their establishment positions of power. They are the sorts of people young Hillary Clinton herself would have scorned at Wellesley. If history is any guide, the new “best and brightest” of the Obama generation will unleash a new cycle of activism, reform and fresh thinking before they follow pragmatism to its dead end.

Many ordinary Americans will take a transformative step down the long road to the Rainbow Covenant if Obama wins. For at least a brief moment, people around the world — from the shantytowns to the sweatshops, even to the restless rich of the Sixties generation — will look up from the treadmills of their shrunken lives to the possibilities of what life still might be. Environmental justice and global economic hope would dawn as possibilities.

Is Barack the one we have been waiting for? Or is it the other way around? Are we the people we have been waiting for? Barack Obama is giving voice and space to an awakening beyond his wildest expectations, a social force that may lead him far beyond his modest policy agenda.

Read it all here.

posted by @ 8:05 am | 2 Comments

2 Responses to “2G2K Circus :: Tom Hayden Endorses Obama”

  1. BusterPh.D.Candidate says:

    Thanks for the link to the Tom Hayden piece. It put together and voiced much of what I have been thinking.

  2. Brother OMi says:

    I dig what Hayden said. it’s true, no one person is going to save us. and “are we the people we have been waiting for…”

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