Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
The Atlantic has published I’m Not Yet Ready to Abandon the Possibility of America, an updated excerpt from President Barack Obama’s memoir—A Promised Land—that ought to be read in its entirety. I’ve stretched copyright privilege to provide a longish excerpt of that excerpt here:
I recognize that there are those who believe that it’s time to discard the myth—that an examination of America’s past and an even cursory glance at today’s headlines show that this nation’s ideals have always been secondary to conquest and subjugation, a racial caste system and rapacious capitalism, and that to pretend otherwise is to be complicit in a game that was rigged from the start. And I confess that there have been times during the course of writing my book, as I’ve reflected on my presidency and all that’s happened since, when I’ve had to ask myself whether I was too tempered in speaking the truth as I saw it, too cautious in either word or deed, convinced as I was that by appealing to what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature I stood a greater chance of leading us in the direction of the America we’ve been promised.
I don’t know. What I can say for certain is that I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America—not just for the sake of future generations of Americans but for all of humankind. I’m convinced that the pandemic we’re currently living through is both a manifestation of and a mere interruption in the relentless march toward an interconnected world, one in which peoples and cultures can’t help but collide. In that world—of global supply chains, instantaneous capital transfers, social media, transnational terrorist networks, climate change, mass migration, and ever-increasing complexity—we will learn to live together, cooperate with one another, and recognize the dignity of others, or we will perish. And so the world watches America—the only great power in history made up of people from every corner of the planet, comprising every race and faith and cultural practice—to see if our experiment in democracy can work. To see if we can do what no other nation has ever done. To see if we can actually live up to the meaning of our creed.
The jury’s still out. I’m encouraged by the record-setting number of Americans who turned out to vote in last week’s election, and have an abiding trust in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, in their character and capacity to do what is right. But I also know that no single election will settle the matter. Our divisions run deep; our challenges are daunting. If I remain hopeful about the future, it’s in large part because I’ve learned to place my faith in my fellow citizens, especially those of the next generation, whose conviction in the equal worth of all people seems to come as second nature, and who insist on making real those principles that their parents and teachers told them were true but that they perhaps never fully believed themselves. More than anyone else, my book is for those young people—an invitation to once again remake the world, and to bring about, through hard work, determination, and a big dose of imagination, an America that finally aligns with all that is best in us.
THREE OTHER ARTICLES WORTH READING
- The Fall of Trump Propels the Climate Story Into a Decisive New Era, by Mark Hertzgaard. Humanity dodged a bullet, but journalists need to explore why half of the electorate voted not to.
- Is Joe Biden Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight? by David Corn. In the White House, he will have to confront the asymmetrical warfare of the GOP.
- New data: Even within the same district some wealthy schools get millions more than poor ones, by Tara García Mathewson.
“The reserves of emotion pent up during those many months when for everybody the flame of life burned low were being recklessly squandered to celebrate this, the red-letter day of their survival. Tomorrow real life would begin again, with its restrictions. But for the moment people in very different walks of life were rubbing shoulders, fraternizing. The leveling-out that death’s imminence had failed in practice to accomplish was realized at last, for a few gay hours, in the rapture of escape.” ~~Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)
At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—FRC would support a primary challenge against Snowe:
On Tuesday, we learned Maine Republicans would dump Olympia Snowe in a primary challenge vs. a conservative. One day later, TPM reported that the social conservative group Family Research Council would also support a primary challenge against Snowe.
”Well of course there is an audience that would love to see Olympia Snowe out of office, within the ranks of social conservatives, that’s for certain,” said Mackey.
A new survey from Public Policy Polling (D) found that a generic conservative challenger would lead the moderate Snowe in a Republican primary by a whopping 59%-31% margin.
“I think a couple years ago, we wouldn’t have thought it was possible,” said Mackey. “However, those numbers are interesting, and I think those numbers might just track the fact that a lot of Americans are waking up to the liberal policies, what they mean and how they’re playing out. And it may be affecting her, with her votes for the stimulus, and breaking from her party. And we would like to see a conservative have a chance to remove her from office up there.”
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