From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, possibly the most revered land in the nation (other than a National Cemetery) Martin Luther King Jr. stood up to the powers that would liked never to see this week come and said:
"And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
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.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
Tuesday is another huge step in achieving the MLK Dream. But it is not just his dream that is fulfilled this week. With the Inauguration of Barack Obama, we also fulfill the dreams of Ganhdi, and Lincoln, and Jesus Christ. King said in his speech:
"In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."
On Tuesday, we have an opportunity to show the world, that the concepts of peaceful protest, advocacy, education, and persistence can change the way the world works. War and killing doesn't have to be the way. In fact, war and killing usually just leads to more war and killing. Peaceful respectful disagreement will bring about permanent change. Discipline and Dignity... If that isn't a good description of our President-elect, nothing is. I don't know what he will do, or if it will work, or even if I will agree with him, but I already see he is a man, who exudes dignity and discipline.
There is a different feel in Washington DC. It is one of hope and renewal. There is a return of class to the city. People even speak of trust. I haven't heard the word trust in the city since 1969.
Obama is reaching out to the Republicans. He is seeking to work with the men in the middle. He may be saving the Republican party from itself by doing so. Brave Republicans like McCain and Graham understand that working in a genial environment is the only way to accomplish anything. Failure to do so will reign down anger from the people on the main streets of every city and town in the country. We cannot have 4 more years of nothing being accomplished in Washington DC.
Of course, such bi-partisanship will bring about rage from the neo-con right (or are they really left?) because, they will claim they cannot take pot shots at the President and the Democratic leadership if the moderate Republicans give them cover. Too bad. Rush and the idiotic blond bimbo who wishes she were he, will have to just shoot at each other for a change. They have been shooting the Republicans in the foot long enough. Liberals of the far out persuasion will have the same difficulties. If they want to accomplish anything in Washington DC without making their re-elections impossible, they will have to come to the middle with their social agenda, and maybe their economic agenda as well.
On the other hand, we all could go to a tax program allowing Americans to keep 90% of what they earn. I bet that stimulates the economy right away.
Finally, maybe the dreams of the man we honor on Monday, become fulfilled with the Inauguration he made possible of the man we entrust with our nation's well being on Tuesday. With great challenge, comes great opportunity. But with great opportunity, comes great responsibility not to squander that opportunity. The last eight years have been squandered opportunity. As a nation we have tired of that waste.
It will be an historic week. I will pray, it is an historic Presidency.Congratulations Dr. King, and welcome Mr. Obama, Mr. President. Welcome, and good luck.