>Western Tribune Column September 3, 2008

>An American flag flies in front of my house. At times over the last eight years, I have contemplated taking it down or even flying it upside down because in truth, our country is in a state of emergency under the Bush presidency.

But the flag has flown because like Barack Obama, I will not allow Republicans to lay claim to patriotism, and the historic event of Obama’s acceptance of the Democratic nomination for president shows us that Democrats in general feel that way as well.

Martin Luther King’s Dream is shared by all Americans, although there are still those who want nothing of it. But the days of division are ending. Hateful, divisive politics will not be part of his campaign.

In fact Democrats have fully embraced diversity and now have a candidate that represents a minority that was legally discriminated against a generation ago. This is remarkable.

Inspired by Barack Obama, millions of Americans, young and old, black, brown and white, gay and straight, have joined or returned to the political process, because they have found a leader who believes in the American Dream. The Dream, which has all but been destroyed by the Republican Party, will once again be within reach with a leader who believes in that dream.
But the Dream, or the prospect of it, means nothing without economic security, energy independence, national security and national pride.

With the latest Gallup poll showing that 81% of us believe the country is on the wrong track, it is clear that changes in those areas are a must. And with John McCain embracing the policies of the Bush years and voting along those lines 90% of the time, we cannot expect change from him.

Obama outlined the changes that would be seen during his administration in his address last week. They are significant and address all of the issues mentioned above and more.

McCain’s pick of a likeminded woman , Alaska governor Sarah Palin, as his running mate does nothing to indicate he embraces change of any type. It does, however, insult millions of Hillary Clinton supporters who knew that their candidate stood with them on the issues and was ready to assume the role of commander in chief.

Conclusion: With Obama’s acceptance of the nomination new realizations are sweeping across America.

You can be a Democrat and love this country.

You can be gay and be a part of the American Dream.

You can be African American and be President of the United States.

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