There has been an attempted line of attack against Barack Obama that claims that, because Barack Obama speaks eloquently of the need for change from a politics of fear and hate to a new politics of hope, he doesn’t have any substance. Of course, the remarkable substance of Obama has been easy for people see, in the United States Senate and in his presidential campaign.
That hasn’t stopped the Hillary Clinton campaign from issuing statements like “It’s no wonder that Americans are coming to see that for all of his lofty rhetoric, Senator Obama’s candidacy is really just words.” (March 21, 2008 press release)
In response to these attacks, I offer the following quote:
“O Youth: Do you know that yours is not the first generation to yearn for a life full of beauty and freedom? Do you know that all your ancestors felt as you do — and fell victim to trouble and hatred? Do you know also, that your fervent wishes can only find fulfillment if you succeed in attaining love and understanding of men, and animals, and plants, and stars, so that every joy becomes your joy and every pain your pain? Open your eyes, your heart, your hands, and avoid the poison your forebears so greedily sucked in from History. Then will all the earth be your homeland, and all your work and effort spread forth blessings.”
Back then, Albert Einstein spoke the same message that Barack Obama speaks today: That we do not need to be restricted to the fears and hatreds of our predecessors. We can overcome it.
Germany did not listen to Albert Einstein in 1932. Will America listen to Barack Obama in 2008?
Will Obama’s opponents now tell us that Albert Einstein was not a man of substance?
The choice between fear and hope is the most substantial choice of the 2008 presidential election.