“We have seen an honest man.” Those were the words Michelle Obama used to describe her husband Monday night at the last rally in Iowa. She is a wonderful woman. I have been proud these past four years that she has been our First Lady, thrilled actually.
When Barack Obama took the stage and began to reminisce about the Iowa campaign of 2008, and talked about how the campaign workers there labored without heat, sleep, and food, tears trickled out of his left eye, which he had to wipe away several times. He gave a superb speech. It brought back the feeling I had four years ago, when I thought, here is a man who has the mark of greatness on him. This year I have been pessimistic about the President’s chances for reelection. However, listening to him Monday night, I was struck once again with a strong sense that history must be on his side, and ours.
We have seen an honest man. And we have seen a dishonest man.
I have been through quite a few presidential elections, but never before have I seen a candidate lie so brazenly as Obama’s challenger. The worst part was that when caught in his lies, he didn’t care, he continued to tell them, or as Bill Clinton put it the other day, “shove his hand deeper into the cookie jar.” I thought it betrayed a troubling cynicism about the people he sought to serve. It seemed to me that the only principle he held to was the maxim attributed to H. L. Mencken, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”
Well, you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. Someone said something like that. But it wasn’t Lincoln.
One would hope that this election would cause the Republican Party to change their tactics and move away from the politics of deception, demagoguery, hate, and division. Yet, I think that might be just too much to expect.
We have seen an honest man. Thank goodness, we will see more of him.
The only real losers of this election are those who will refuse to join in the march of history to an America where we work together, where we take care of not just our own, but everyone. The losers will be those who would stand in the way, block up the hall. The winners are us, we the people – all the people.
Photo: Damon Winter/The New York Times