I like this statement by Obama yesterday, regarding the economic crisis: "Some are at fault, all are responsible." One reason why I have been such a strong supporter of Obama is because he does emphasize personal responsibility; and because he makes clear that we are all responsible for what happens in this country.
We cannot afford to be passive spectators, expecting that our leaders can fix everything. "We are the change we seek." Those of us who feel that there has been too much acrimony, schism, bitterness and demonization in the political arena, too many smear campaigns and too much hate speech, we need to stand up and speak out for informed and respectful dialogue.
Whether we are left or right or in the middle, we can agree to disagree without resorting to denigration. Stand up to the bullies who seek to destroy their political opponents, rather than engage with them in reasoned debate.
Remember Germany in the 30s; many stood by as hate-mongers gained ascendency. Hate speech directed against Obama during and since the campaign by (albeit, a small minority of) politicians, media figures, and others should not be ignored, in my view. It should be confronted.
As Obama said, we are all responsible for addressing problems in this country, including the need to set a high standard of political discourse, and insisting that it be maintained.
Bio: I am a poet-essayist, teacher-counselor, and political activist from Kingstree, South Carolina, currently writing a book on the creative process.