Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dr. King

I wrote this yesterday and thought I posed it. Second time in a week I did this.

Today, January 15, is Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Contrary to popular opinion, he was not born on the third Monday in January. You know, these government holidays sort of suck. The rest of the world doesn't get the day off, but I don't get mail or access to money at the local bank. Also, having the holiday on a floating Monday sort of gives the impression, "Yeah, we want to honor you, but only to the extent that it conveniences us."

Similarly, when I was in school, we celebrated both George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's birthdays. Now I don't know if there were Federal holidays at the time to honor those two presidents – after all, I was a kid and every other day was a holiday. Abe Lincoln's birthday was February 12 – we made stovepipe hats for several years to drill that into our impressionable heads. George Washington's birthday is February 22. I believe we used hatchets to cut down cherry trees for that birthday. Well, maybe not.

Now, I have heard from others that we have too many Federal holidays. I don't know about that, but I like MLK's Birthday. I don't get the day off, but whenever it dawns on me that the mailman didn't come, or my bank is closed, I remember what I read about race relations in the 1960s. MLK was an important figure – nearly as impressive as Gandhi, the person I think has affected change more than any one person in the 20th Century.

At this time of year, however, it appears that Hillary Clinton is using MLK as a political pawn. Her hero, her pawn. Funny thing is that I have heard people blaming black people for supporting Obama because, I guess, they assume it is because of his race. But you know, if the presidential candidate was a Georgia native, I would be much more likely to support the candidate, Republican or Democratic. I mean, I would have more in common from someone from this state – the Democrats are more conservative here. Both parties are a bit more similar to my views – that is, for people who get chauffeured around their whole lives, who have people pick up the tab for all meals, for people who don't grocery shop, for people who get lots of free stuff. You know, just like us but not so much.

I don't know who I will vote for when picking a president – I just have something against Ms. Clinton. Now I don't think it is the whole competitive bitch thing, but it could play into my feelings. Well, I just don't trust Ms. Clinton, and the more I learn, the more I think integrity is an important issue. I don't care who the smartest president is (Carter was a genius); I just want one that doesn't seem like a buffoon (current president) or a philandering power jockey (Clinton).

Happy Birthday, Dr. King. I hope your dream is closer to being realized.


RWA said...

I have never understood how someone's birthday can be a national holiday - but not be on their actual birthday.

Good luck finding a Presidential candidate to support.

~Deb said...

Ever go on a job interview that you had little experience in and the employer says, "Welp, we need somebody who has just a tad more experience than you..." And you walk out with your tail between your legs. Anyway, Obama has big promises that seem REALLY GOOD - however, too good. It would be great to have Martin Luther's dream come to fruition on this presidential election, however, we want the "best" person, regardless of race, gender or religion to give us the best leadership.

Hard call though, huh?

LarryLilly said...

When I was young, I was into hope like Kennedy had, like Obama talks now. Then we had Nixon, Watergate, the whole nine yards, and so much for honesty in government. When I reached early middle age, working in the booming petroleum industry I was making money like a bandit, and Reagan became my man. Then I hit a period of being out of work for a couple of years, with no health insurance and a sick wife. I saw before Dubya used the term "compassionate conservatism" just how compassionate Repubs policy really are in action; they arent.

So I returned to democratic values, and have not been wrong much. Yeah, there was that Blue dress episode, and we all know that democrats have probelms with keeping their pants on, and repubs have problems keeping their hands out of other peoples pockets. Clinton got a BJ, Dubya got a war.

Since then, I became a pragmatic person, and I dont see Obama as much more than a proven dreamer. His turn isnt now. He needs to get a belly full of actually getting things done, not just saying he has positions that are noble. He needs to get history in actually pushing ideas across in gov, not just making speeches. I want the person who has actually done some of what he says he will do.

A side note, Reagan did the democrats a good service. Reagan told stories about "that welfare queen getting her unemployment check" as a euphemism for people of color. And since Johnson's great Society pissed off a lot of working folk in the south, when Reagan came along, he gave them what they wanted to hear, yet in a form that allowed them to go to church each Sunday or to a NASCAR race, if it was within 300 miles, with a clear mind. And what had been traditionally strong democratic white folk became republican white folk. And this was good for the democrats, in that it removed bigoted whites from the democratic party. Now its pretty clear about "traditional values" when its used by repubs.

And if you dont think this is true, how much support does the National repub party get from black people?

Very dam little.

(Local offices can be repub because politics, like Einstein said, is all relative.)

Leesa said...

rwa: I would rather the day be something like Equality Day. That way, we can think about race relations, etc. Sure, Dr. King is the poster man for this, but there were many who came before him and after him.

~deb: I don't think career politicians do more than those who just come in for a term or two.

larry: I don't believe the Repubs are full of bigots. And George W, in terms of "compassion", is spending like a drunken sailor. Some believe that is compassionate. I am more of a libertarian - I don't believe gov't normally spends money wisely. Inefficiency gets rewarded. Sometimes actions have unpredicted consequences - freeing all of those in mental institutions in the 70s (Reagan as governor of California actually facilitated this) gave us a whole lot more homeless people who were not receiving medical care.

All I want is a president that doesn't screw up too much or embarrass the nation. And we have had that for decades (from Bush onward).