There was much national pride surrounding Monday's events as Americans marveled at what progress has been from just 50 years ago that a black man could be elected president not just once, on some sort of lark, but twice and by a larger margin than enjoyed by either Dwight Eisenhower or G.W Bush in their respective reelections.
It all seems so surreal, the long national nightmare has ended; racial equality has been achieved. The American dream has been fulfilled. People are celebrating in the streets.
Lincoln and King must be looking down from heaven, smiling upon it all. Jesus, too. And George Burns, as God. All have to be pleased as America shines bright, a city upon a hill, a beacon of equality to all the world. A black man as president. King's Dream is alive.
Some fringe thinkers might not see it that way though, the malcontents. So insecure with their own lives they will seek to dismiss the good works of others, always looking for a fault. They'll complain about any perceived injustice, regardless of context.
These cynical swine would have you believe the president's use of MLK's bible was a a cheap ploy to get Americans to sympathize with the president. They'd tell you that by associating Obama with a such an iconic civil rights figure–and on such a grand stage–that his staff is trying to get him a free pass for whatever unconscionable giveaways that may occur during his next four years. Those who would say such things are fools.
It is this type of person that would seek to dismiss the similarities between the two men by pointing to the President's use of drone strikes as proof of his violent foreign policies, the type of policies Martin Luther King argued very much against during his protests of the Vietnam War.
These detractors like to claim to a conflict of interest is created when the president's chiefs of staff come from, and return to high-raking positions in the financial sector. As if it is having solid relations with Wall Street that prevents Washington charging those responsible for the 2008 market crash, and not part of a reasonable progressive policy to keep America from being mired in the past, to her keep moving forward and to focus on restoring her economy.
These people do not appreciate the nuance and subtleties of that go into crafting political policy. There is no understanding of how heavy such decisions weigh on the president's mind. These purists cannot fathom how a good man can commit such "evil" acts. They degrade Barrack Obama for doing a tough job. Such is the life of the American president.
For those not so naive to think in absolutes, there exists an acknowledgment of the burdens of such responsibility. There is acknowledgment that no easy answers exist. A president is presented with difficult decisions when under assault from a faceless evil. Dr. King would understand this, he was a reasonable man.
As a student of history Barrack Obama is very much familiar with the concepts of passive resistance and their use against unjust systems. At the acceptance speech for his Nobel Peace Prize the president stated, "I know there's nothing weak – nothing passive – nothing naïve – in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King." He president is correct in this statement, and Gandhi and King are examples of the quiet strength needed to be committed to non-violence.
America's role as sole world super power does not often make a strict adherence to pacifism a tenable approach to foreign policy. A stance of non-violence would only show weakness to our enemies. Attempting engage in negotiations with these terrorist leaders would only signal that their tactics work, and further embolden them.
There are times when military action is the only option not just for the safety of America, but for the safety of the world. President Obama understood this when, accepting his Nobel, he said,
"But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by (Gandhi and King's) examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world"Evil exists, and if allowed to fester it will spread like an infection. Drone strikes are the white blood cells keeping the infection in check.
President Obama does not want to order unmanned drones strikes. He's not happy per se that sixteen year old American citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was vaporized by an American Hellfire missile. He's certainly saddened that he's had to designate all military aged men within a vaguely defined theater of conflict as "militants". He gets just plain bummed when he thinks of the unprecedented number of people he has had to charge under the Espionage Act. But again, these are the tough decisions a president must make to keep his country safe. Dr. King would understand this, he was a reasonable man.
The Honorable Reverend would understand how far this country has come on a myriad of social issues. I'm sure he would be thrilled at the freedom homosexuals are allowed as they can openly serve in the military. Dr. King would see a latina Supreme Court Justice and his heart would swell with pride. He would be excited about Obama's brave "evolution" on gay marriage. No doubt he could appreciate the wisdom in leaving such a volatile matter to be decided by the states.
As a social crusader, The Good Doctor might be a little disappointed that people of color lost a historic amount of household wealth in the 2008 crash, and probably a little disappointed again when he sees the increase of the the already large wealth gap between minorities and whites. But Obama shouldn't feel too bad, you can't win 'em all. And he would have totally had that one in the bag as well, if wasn't for those meddling Republicans .
Martin Luther King was a wise and understanding man. He felt that only means of affecting real change was via non-violent resistance. He felt the use of violence to resolve conflicts only led to more violence, on this point he was unequivocal. But surely he could recognize the position President Obama finds himself in. Surely he could acknowledge the truth that, as a world leader, sometimes you just have to undertake the solemn task of picking a name from the disposition matrix, and then giving the order to blow the evil bastard to hell. Peace is not an option because violence is all those savages understand. That's just a sad fact of the world. Dr. King would understand this, he was a reasonable man.
On the dawn of Barrack Obama's second term as president let us not gripe and complain about all the allegedly terrible acts our government has performed. Instead let us look forward, and be glad that we have a president who is a living testament to Martin Luther King's dream of racial equality. Let us be happy that the use of drone strikes are authorized by a man who holds in such high regard the works and words of King and Gandhi.
That America has given such unprecedented executive power to a mindful constitutional scholar, and not some bloodthirsty nut like Mitt Romney, I believe is reason enough for Dr. King to be proud of this nation. As an African American male hailing from a low-income background, Barrack Obama's rise to the presidency stands as proof against the rumors surrounding the death of the American dream. The first black president was sworn in using Martin Luther King's Bible. The American dream is very much alive. Its finger rests softly on the trigger. Heavy is the head...