Friday, January 30, 2009
I HAVE A DREAM!
The last couple months, leading up to the inauguration of President Barack Obama, Americans have been hearing a lot about Martin Luther King, Jr. The two have been mentioned in the same sentence frequently. Countless emails have been circulating around the globe, the message being that Dr. King's dream has finally come to fruition and that he would be most proud. I never did buy into that. The only connection I see between Dr. King and President Obama is skin color. I'm not so sure what we gave birth to in America is the dream Dr. King had in mind, for one of the most quoted sentences of Mr. Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech was, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." We all know that this did not happen on November 4, 2008. In fact, reverse that sentence, and you'll have what actually took place.
But today, we in America did get closer to the realization of Dr. King's dream. Today, Michael Steele was elected as Chairman of the Republican National Committee. He is the first African-American to hold this office. He is used to being involved in firsts. In 2003, he became the first African-American to serve in a Maryland state-wide office and the first Republican lieutenant governor in the state.
This year, Republicans were looking for a new spirit and new direction after such devastating losses in November's national elections that gave Democrats control of Congress. Steele represents this newness. He is articulate, energetic, and focused on the task at hand. "The winds of change are blowing," said one candidate who bowed out."
Michael Steele is the man for this crucial hour. He is ready to lead the GOP forward, and I expect him to do so by remaining true to the conservative values that separate the Republican Party from the Democrats. As Republicans have been trying to figure out what went wrong in November, as we've discussed how to regain momentum, many people have toyed with various and sundry possibilities. Some have suggested we sell out our ideals for popularity. I have maintained, however, that the Republican conservative platforms are good platforms. We must not water down our message; it's the right message. What we must do is find a way to articulate that message to all people. When I'm asked why most Blacks vote for Democrats in spite of the fact that their worldview does not line up with the tenets of the Democratic Party, of course I tell the truth: they've been enslaved and held captive by Democratic slave masters. Yet I have also stated that we must find an effective way to articulate our message. There is nothing wrong with what we stand for, but if we don't find ways to share it, what good is it?
Enter Michael Steele. "We're going to say to friend and foe alike: 'We want you to be a part of us, we want you to be with us.' And for those who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked over," Steele said. "There is not one inch of ground that we're going to cede to anybody," he added. Here is a man who is going to take the message for the betterment of America to all people--but is not going to bow to political pressure.
What do conservative Republicans believe in? In part, we believe in limited government, fiscal and personal responsibility, low taxes, a strong defense, the value and potential of all human life, traditional family, and the constitutional right to bear arms. We do not believe in bankrupting our children and grandchildren by making them pay for bailouts of auto companies, financial institutions, newspapers, pornography and abortion industries. We do not condone tax breaks to people who don't pay taxes! We believe that government should be working for the people--not vice versa. We believe that it is detrimental to America to take from our businesses and consumers and spread the wealth around. No, if we allow our businesses to keep more of what they earn, jobs will be created, people will spend money, and that is what will stimulate the economy--not a humungous stimulus package, which is mostly a spending package designed in part to pay people back for election support. (You know, a quid pro quo; in other words, one hand washes the other.)
All Americans benefit from these basic principles, but some have no idea these principles exist. I believe Michael Steele will use his integrity, charisma, and technology savvy to spread the word. And as an African -American, he can reach across the aisle to people who have turned a deaf ear to Republicans.
Steele once had oreo cookies thrown at him by foolish, misguided people who were insinuating that, as a Republican, he was Black on the outside but white on the inside, but he didn't let that control him or stifle his God-given right to think for himself. He truly does represent Dr. King's dream. He believes that God--not the government--is his source, he is pro-life, and he is a Republican. Of course, Dr. King was also a Republican. More than anything, Michael Steele appears to be a man of conviction and values. When I was hit with the weight of the fact that I could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama, my heart was heavy. I would have loved to cast my vote for our nation's first Black president, but I wasn't about to sell out my Christian principles to do so. Today, I cannot help but be proud that the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee, the party that was started to fight for the rights of Blacks, is an African-American. But more than that, I am proud that Michael Steele is simply an American with values and principles that are so needed in this country.
Today, the RNC acknowledged this as well, for they found this man worthy of their vote, not because of his skin color, but because they judged his character to be honorable. Dr. King would be proud!