Commentary: Faith in U.S. election system restored

You may have noticed, I've not written a word about Barack Obama's Nov. 4 victory. The reason? I'm a little ashamed. I came late to the Obama party. I didn't think he had a snowball's chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the primaries and winning the nomination or beating whoever the Republican foisted.

I admit, I'm guilty of old thinking. I'm guilty of believing the hype of our history, that we were too racist to elect an African American regardless of his qualifications, that we were too xenophobic to elect a man named Barack Hussein Obama.

In hindsight, it's not that I secretly didn't want Obama to win; he was obviously smarter and brighter than his now vanquished opponent. However, I thought it impossible. The mountain that stood in Obama's path to the presidency was too high. Too many times in our history, I thought, we've ignored the noble words of our Declaration of Independence that, "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights..."

My early teachers told us that every person could grow up to be president. No one with my pigmentation could have taken that possibility seriously in the 1960s.

Shirley Chisholm gave it a shot in 1972, Jesse Jackson ran the gauntlet in 1984 and 1988. Alan Keyes tried for the Republican nomination in 1996 and 2000. Lenora Fulani (I know, Lenora who?) ran in 1988 and 1992 as an independent. Carol Moseley Braun tried in 2004. Why? I'm not sure she knows. None could raise the millions needed for a real try at the White House, nor were they suited to sit in the Oval Office. Obama, on the other hand, raised $750 million, more than George W. Bush and John Kerry raised in 2004 - combined.

To read the complete column, visit The Macon Telegraph.

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