After the phony roll call vote was taken here to formally nominate Barack Obama--a roll call that did not remotely reflect the true delegate strength of Hillary--the media exploded in an orgy of celebration about the historic character of the moment to which they had just been privileged to be witness.
The first black presidential nominee ever of a major party in history!” was proclaimed. Coming on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Barack’s nomination is being hailed as the last great step forward in the long march to equality and justice in America.
The moral pressure to join the march of history is enormous.
Abroad, we are told, Europe and the Third World are awaiting the moment when America turns her back on her racist past and elevates this black man to the presidency. The subtext is that this is not just a political contest, but a moral test for America.
Questions arise. With this immense moral and emotional investment in a Barack victory--by 94 to 1 in one poll black America is behind him--what happens if the nation decides he is too radical, too inexperienced, too callow, too risky to be president?
What happens if the American people reject their marching orders and say no to Barack and black America? What happens if all the hopes and dreams, hype and hoopla, end in disillusionment?
Would the defeat of Barack Obama be taken as an affront to black America? Could we be in for a time of deepening racial division rather than healing? Could we be in for a long, hot autumn like the long, hot summers some of us recall from 40 years ago?
One black preacher here suggested as much to me.
Should that happen, the people who have framed this election as a contest between morality and racial justice on one side, and the clammy hand of America’s racist past on the other, will bear the same moral responsibility as did the advocates of mass civil obedience for the racial riots of the 1960s that followed.
Barack has just shot 6 points ahead of McCain. But he has not yet closed the sale. And to prevent his closing of the sale, the GOP must raise doubts in the public mind as to whether he is really a man of Middle America or the closet radical of the Rev. Wright’s congregation who said of Pennsylvanians that they are bitter folks, who cling to their Bibles, bigotries and guns because the world has left them behind.
No candidate has ever been nominated by a major party with fewer credentials or a weaker claim to the presidency, or more doubts as to his core beliefs. If Obama wins, the country could be in real trouble. And if he loses, the country could be in real trouble.
Poll shows no convention bounce for Obama