Friday, January 4, 2008
Taking Down the Walls
I never thought that in my lifetime I would see the reunification of Germany. When the East German border guards did not shoot the kids climbing on the Berlin Wall, the world changed. The face of Europe changed. Germany evolved.
I have hoped that I would live long enough to see the United States live up to the Pledge that I recited each morning with my classroom for 25 years. "Liberty and justice for all" is obtainable. Last night, the Democrats, Independents, and cross-over Republicans in the Iowa Democratic Caucuses showed us that there is hope for a better country and world.
Two amazing things happened. An African-American won the Democratic Caucus vote. A woman won third place in the same voting.
Every year that I taught, I managed to find "teachable moments" when I could tell the girls and boys that in our country skin color and gender were not supposed to be barriers. The era of separate drinking fountains, waiting rooms, and restaurant seating had ended. "Wasn't it silly?" The kids always agreed.
The walls are still coming down and our nation is still moving on...
Unfortunately, the rule of thirds seems to hold true. One-third of folks are usually ready for change, one-third can be coaxed along, and one-third just won't budge. 1/3 of the Iowa Republican Caucus voters supported Mike Huckabee. Think about it.
January will be an interesting month in politics. I am certain there will be more cheers and tears.