History and Barack Obama

Barack Obama has clinched the Democratic nomination for president, and Hillary Clinton is ready to call it quits on Friday or Saturday:

‘Senator Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity. This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Senator Clinton’s supporters who want to attend,’’ her communications director Howard Wolfson said.

For months, the right wing has been calling on Republicans to vote for Clinton in open primaries. I have a long-time Republican friend who told me he took a Democratic ballot in Illinois to vote for Hillary Clinton, because Republicans thought she was the easy win.

Or was that just more Republican “Strategerey,” as “W” would say? Were they really hoping for Obama? Could it be that the last several months were just a ploy to set up Obama as the nominee, and usher in an easy win for John McCain?

I don’t think so. McCain has reason to worry. If Hillary and Barack do finally embrace sometime this weekend, it’s history.

History.

This entire primary season has been about history, and I’m extremely proud to be a Democrat. It was the Democrats who had a woman and a black man as the last “men” standing from an outstanding field of potential nominees.

A woman and a black man, front and center, as our potential nominees. Think about that when the Republicans roll out their closet minorities onto that Minneapolis stage in September. The Republicans play lip service to those who have been stepped on in history.

The Democrats nominate them to lead.

Hillary Clinton deserves our thanks. She and Barack have written a new history together.

I’m thinking of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States: 1492 to Present. It’s often said that history is written by the winners, but that doesn’t mean those who lost didn’t write history. Zinn tells the history of the United States through the eyes of those who did not fare as well as white men. This is a history that has gone unnoticed for too long in the schools, but is finally making its way into mainstream textbooks in the grade schools and high schools.

A more recent publication by Dahr Jamail, Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches from an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, tells the same sad story again. Thanks to the Internet, we don’t have to wait hundreds of years to hear the people speak. Jamail and those working with him give voice to Iraq, reporting different voices from the Iraqis than the mainstream press, the “embedded” journalists, would tell.

History, rewritten. And last night, rewritten again by Barack Obama.

As we finally enter the last months of this presidential campaign, we must remember first that John McCain is a good man who served this country well. His wife, Cindy, is a wonderful humanitarian. They are good Americans, but that is not enough.

John McCain is the wrong choice for president.

John McCain has closely allied himself with the philosophy of President George W. Bush. He didn’t have to embrace Bush, but he did. John McCain is running a campaign to continue the policies of George Bush. But more than seven years of history, and ages before that for anyone who has studied history, demonstrate the failures of those many policies that have left the United States with a dollar weaker than both the Euro and the Canadian dollar.

I recall my first meeting with Senator Obama at “the Barn” in Olympia Fields. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., had introduced Barack Obama to a relatively small group of elected officials who had gathered to learn more about the man, who was running for the U.S. Senate at the time. He was approachable, and he listened. No Secret Service. No huge, screaming crowds. Just Barack Obama making his case to a small gathering of elected officials. He listened to me. He spoke with me. I was satisfied that I had been heard.

He listens.

It’s time for change — a radical break from the imperialist policies of the past seven-plus years. It’s time for healing, to reestablish relationships and rebuild our squandered credibility with the rest of the world.

It’s time for history.

It’s time for Barack Obama.