Snippets from the preface to Barack Obama’s The Promised Land – to ponder and transfer to our UK
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Posted on: 8th January 2021
Our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of a crisis, a fundamental contest between two opposing visions of what America is and what it should be… leaving the body politic divided, angry and mistrustful…. ongoing breach of institutional norms…and of adherence to basic facts
This contest is not new…it’s embedded in founding documents that could simultaneously proclaim all men equal and yet count a slave as three-fifths of a man….
The question at the heart of this long-running battle: Do we care to match the reality of America to its ideals?
Is it time to discard the myth, [seeing that] this nation’s ideals have always been secondary to conquest and subjugation?
I ask myself whether I have been too tempered in speaking the truth as I saw it, too cautious in word or deed, convinced as I was that by appealing to what Lincoln called the better angels of our nature, I would stand a better chance of leading us in the direction of the America we’ve been promised….
I don’t know. What I can say for certain is that I’m not yet ready to abandon the possibility of America – not just for the sake of future generations of Americans but for all of humankind.
[in the emerging interconnected world] we will learn to live together…or we will perish,
So the world watches America….to see if we can actually live up to the meaning of our creed.
The jury’s still out…If I remain hopeful, it’s because I have learned to place my trust in my fellow citizens, especially those of the next generation…. More than anything, this book is for these young people – an invitation to once again remake the world, and to bring about, through hard work, determination, and a big dose of imagination, an America that finally aligns with all that is best in us.
Written by Haddon Willmer