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Thanks to a totally inept administration, opportunities abound! Excerpt from Fareed Zakariah; Newsweek 8 Dec 2008

 "President-elect Obama has powers of his own... I will not exaggerate the the importance of a single personality, but Obama has become a global symbol like none I can recall in my lifetime. Were he to go to Iran, for example, he would probably draw a crowd of millions, far larger than any mullah could dream of. Were his administration to demonstrate in its day-to-day conduct a genuine understanding of other countries' perspectives and an empathy for the aspirations of people around the world, it could change America's reputation in lasting ways."

It is not too late. Never mind that America faces a future unlike anything envisioned since our founding. For example, our founding fathers never envisioned America would have aspirations of global dominance. They were pro-democracy democrats. The philosophy imbedded in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution by extension designs a democratic world, not empire. After all, they fought and died against the British Empire.

Somewhere along the line we lost sight of who we were--noble fighters for individual freedom and justice. Outward signs of that drift began with the Monroe Doctrine and accelerated with the Mexican War and the Manifest Destiny, a mission statement for nationalism.

On the face of it, it should be a simple matter to return to our roots. That it has not should be no surprise. Our founding fathers kept slaves, and Thomas Jefferson, one of history's greatest of men, kept slaves, fathered at least one child by one of his favorites. So the seeds of discrimination, even bigotry, infected their state of mind. These seeds are still with us--witness the terrorism and genocides that define our age.

To their everlasting credit, however, our founding fathers saw the value of freedom for themselves and by implication, all men and women. The needed social revolution was yet to come. Abraham Lincoln was the man of the hour in redressing this dichotomy. It is most fitting that Lincoln is Obama's role model. He should be for all of us.

Obama's challenges are far more complex. By the same token, he has far greater resources. Lincoln had a lot of help, from Congress, his cabinet, his generals, and most of all from his people who went to war against their brethren in pursuit of freedom and justice for all. So it will be for Obama. He will need each and everyone of us pulling hard for a new world order where freedom and justice prevail for all. And if history is predictive, beyond Obama's time, his legacy will need guarding with the same commitments. The job ahead of us is really for the generations, not just for us in our times. Our job is to correct course to one embodying the universal principles of all humanity, freedom, justice and equal opportunity. We can do it.


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