Obama's message is even harder to believe when you consider his allusion to the possibility of a "different future." By longing wistfully for "a different future" is Obama not making a commentary on the misery of our present circumstances?
Indeed, when liberals look at America they don't see a land of robust prosperity and outward benevolence. It is a nation where wealth is unfairly distributed and one that imposes its will on the world through oppressive imperialism. It stirs up terrorism, wreaks havoc in an otherwise peaceful Iraq and tortures its military prisoners.
If liberals and conservatives don't see or envision the same America; if we can't even agree on the problems we face, how easy will it to be for us to reach consensus on proposed solutions?
When I see Obama proposing a number of genuinely conservative ideas, I'll reconsider the ludicrous possibility that he values bipartisanship and getting along more than advancing his liberal vision for America.
Let's put Obama's professed longing for harmony among the people to the acid test. Let's tell him that we hawkish conservatives are not going to feel real chummy with him and his colleagues as long as they are telegraphing to the enemy that we're ready to surrender in Iraq by withdrawing our troops by March 2008. If we convince him our condition for breaking bread is that he forthwith withdraw his withdrawal idea, then we'll see how much he truly values breaking bread over breaking faith with America's cause in the war on terror. We'll see how much he truly believes in "the power in conviction" when that conviction concerns ideas he considers abhorrent.
While it goes without saying that we should treat each other respectfully and seek to work together, it is the height of folly to believe that people of different worldviews don't see America and its problems through wholly different lenses.
Let Obama vigorously advocate, through his power of conviction, his vision. But couldn't he please spare us the empty platitudes about our "oneness," so that we can get on with the national debate?