January 20th, 2009

Black man, White house.

Posted by natdavauer in Uncategorized

I wonder if anyone else thought to write a blog entry on Barack Obama’s election?

What I’m really wondering is what my daughter’s America will be like. If all things go as planned, she’ll be eight when The Obama Express chugs down the tracks taking  him back to Chicago.

I remember voting for Ronald Reagan in 1980. The Weekly Reader had a little voting thing for kids on the back and I remember checking the Reagan box. Why? I think he was kind of a celebrity at the time or something. I was four and I remember Ronald Reagan. I remember very little of being four so the fact that I remember Ronald Reagan means he must have been popular.

Ironically, Obama is a star for the exact opposite reason. While people were glad Reagan was going to give the country back to the people (read: hard working citizens and businessmen), people are now glad Obama is going to take the country away from the people (read: greedy citizens and corrupt businessmen).

Is Obama really going to socialize America?

Is there really a place anymore for Ben Franklin’s America?

People think Obama is destroying the republic that the forefathers set out to create. It’s true, socializing things may not be what they had in mind. But they didn’t have everything in mind so let’s stop basing  modern America entirely on what people were shooting for almost 250 years ago. Were they thinking about how Facebook would change the social structure of the country? Hell, were they even thinking about how the car would change the social structure of the country? Of course not.

Their America was so new that inequality was only skin deep. Literally.  Taking the fruits of one man’s labor and giving them to another who wasn’t working as hard was unfair. But applying that same reasoning to a society a quarter millennium later doesn’t make sense.

People think that just because the founding fathers said so over 200 years ago, a child born into a poor family in South Central LA has the same opportunity at success as a kid born into a rich family in well, let’s say Midland, TX. It’s one thing to be academic and understand how the country was founded, but one must also be realistic and understand what the country has become. Notice the people making this argument weren’t kids born in South Central.

Where the old, brown, curled paper and good penmanship America breaks down is at the fact that everyone isn’t just arriving anymore. It is no longer a level playing field. People can say it’s the fault of the family of that kid for not being more successful, but the fact remains that nobody chooses to be born American. One doesn’t choose to be born a rich American with plenty of opportunities, and one doesn’t choose to be born a poor American with no opportunity due to education, income and circumstance.

It is nothing more than a lottery. If you came into this world a rich American then it was by pure luck. You certainly didn’t plan it. The founding fathers didn’t give it to you. So what gives you the right to hold that position as if you deserve it?  Maybe your family worked hard for their success but you as a separate individual no more deserve to benefit from that than a poor baby deserves to be put in a garbage can because it’s parents are failures.

Understanding the difference between what one has and what one deserves is problem with the current America. Some worked hard for what they have and they deserve it. Some have gotten more than they deserve from the very beginning, and some deserve more than they will ever get in this life. Are the trajectories of haves and have-nots set to continue infinitely? Maybe, maybe not.

If you’re already successful, do you not want to help others who didn’t have the same opportunities as you? If you’re living off of hand-outs wouldn’t you rather be the one with enough to hand out? There is still room for nobility in America. A reason to push for success that also brings equality. As much as some people might find it hard to believe, America is, in essence, a large commune as all countries are. We share roads, parks and rivers. Our children love and marry one another. You are not America by yourself.

I really wonder where would the forefathers stand on this election? Besides the fact that most owned slaves. They seemed to have the interests of the people in mind above all. Maybe they’d be communists.

In 2012 my daughter will be four and hopefully will remember the election. She may have a check box on an iPhone app instead of the Weekly Reader, but I wonder who she’ll choose?  I wonder if four year-olds loved Washington at the time? I wonder who Washinton loved when he was four?