...I think about America and those who built it. This nation's founders, who somehow rose above petty ambitions and narrow calculations to imagine a nation unfurling across a continent. ....Lincoln and King, who ultimately laid down their lives in the service of perfecting an imperfect union. And all the faceless, nameless men and women, slaves and soldiers and tailors and butchers constructing lives for themselves and their children and grandchildren, brick by brick, rail by rail, calloused hand by calloused hand, to fill in the landscape of our collective dreams.
It is that process I wish to be a part of.
My heart is filled with love for this country.
--Barack Obama in The Audacity of Hope
In a very short while, our country embarks on a new course heading into uncharted territory--a new president from the 21st century mold, national and world problems so staggering that the way out seems undecipherable and a country seeking to find what its role in the world needs to become.
Knowing who our president is becomes important if we are to have hope and confidence in the way he plans to lead. Is he truly a man of vision, contemplation, deep thoughts--someone greater than his campaign persona and promises? Are his understandings and commitments new to him without previous mental engagement? Is he an opportunist or the real thing?
Obama's book The Audacity of Hope answers some of these questions and should be read by anyone, supporter or detractor, who truly wants to know about this unique man for whom almost 69 million voted and chose as our nation's best hope.
Those who during the campaign denigrated him, his depth and background, did not do their homework and spoke from profound ignorance. Had they the integrity to do their homework, they could have focused on issues and difference in vision rather than innuendos and absurd accusations.
In The Audacity of Hope Obama's incredible knowledge and detailed, complex thoughts about world issues, economic principles, cultural dynamics, ethical responsibilities, faith and race give confidence that we have a man who is not shooting from the hip or needing to develop philosophies in the shadow of decision making. He is ready for the job.
And, he has a vision of what our society should and can be and that a government by, for and of the people has ethical responsibilities to its people.
...our communal values, our sense of mutual responsibility and social solidarity, should express themselves not just in the church or the mosque or the synagogue; not just on the blocks where we live, in the places where we work , or within our own families; but, also, through our government. Like many conservatives, I believe in the power of culture to determine both individual success and social cohesion, and I believe we ignore cultural factors at our peril. But I also believe that our government can play a role in shaping that culture for the better--or for the worse.
It is my hope that a vast number of our population will read this book and begin to know the man.
God sometimes gives us unexpected gifts. Our gift has been a grandson who enlivens our lives and makes retirement very different than the one we anticipated. He is a special joy. And that's "Casey." In 2006 we fulfilled our dream of living in Italy for a year. It was every bit as wonderful as anticipated. This blog begins in 2005 as we prepared for that experience. Since then we have explored many places together. That's the "Travel." And finally, I am a person of opinions--spiritually, politically, on just about anything and that's the "Other Stuff." Welcome to my blog.