Is Obama the idol we all needed?

If you’re like me, you’re considerably pessimistic regarding the fate of the world. You see no silver linings in the mushroom clouds of our future.

If you’re not like me, I commend you. I’d like to be your friend. I need more optimism in my life. If Barack Obama becoming the first ray of light we’ve seen in eight years doesn’t warm my proverbial soul, what will?

I’m just doomed to forlornness, I suppose.

You’ve noticed, I presume, in glancing over local and national newspapers, how easily these recent countless hopes of change have turned into empty hallelujahs.

There is a chance that you don’t consider the recent barrage of “Obama-Obama” chants via opinion and op-ed articles anything but agreeable.

And, surely, I can empathize with Bob Herbert, as you must have last week. I do wish those great figures were here. But it’s easy to go from praising to hoping to faith to wishing.

My concern is that Obama will become a kind of idol, hung low on silver chains, held tightly in our palms, spoken and whimpered of quietly in prayer.

I fear Obama will go the way of dreams. In its grandeur, we limp our limbs a little, stop worrying a little.

We have come a long way, braved the seemingly interminable rivers of time and lives, but we cannot rest now. Civil rights have not yet been secured, nor even for black Americans.

Still, today, you ask someone to bet on a black kid from Chicago raised on food-stamps by a single mother having a good chance of becoming president of the United States and they’ll laugh.

We have to admit to ourselves that Obama became president in large part because the nation saw him as the best cut-man available. He knew just the right amount of coagulant to last us the fight.

The issues are deeper than race. And so are the scars. The expression of an age’s angst varies from the one preceding.

I tend to align more with Herbert’s recent article, “More Than Charisma,” in which he stated that Obama’s methods are deeper than taut verbiage and energizing optimism. He expects a great deal out of the people.

The age-old conservatism the Bush administration personified and rectified has not subsided in the matter of the years Obama has been becoming president, nor in the days after his inauguration. The Bush administration got us good, and most of us turned the other cheek.

Though I wish Martin Luther King, Jr. were here, I wish more that he were not turning in his grave.I can almost hear him chanting now: “and what about our gay sisters and brothers? Our homeless and uneducated? Our disenfranchised women? Our foreign nations? Where the ties that bind?”