By Brent Budowsky - 05/19/08 05:32 PM EDT
Here is some good news about America that is wonderful, extraordinary, spectacular and historic: Younger Americans are the most racism-free, sexism-free, bigotry-free and intolerance-free generation of men and women in history.
The next president, in the next inaugural address, could give this moon-shot speech: that as these young people build their families and raise their kids, Americans are now within sight of the highest mountaintop of all, where Jefferson’s words of 1776 can be a realized dream for all.
When Jefferson and Washington inspired the world during our Revolution, they still accepted a practice that imported blacks from Africa as property and made them slaves, while women were relegated to second-place status even in the great Declaration.
A century after Jefferson and Washington, Lincoln freed the slaves, but even a century after Lincoln, blacks were beaten and murdered for seeking the right to vote and women were still almost entirely excluded from corridors of power and leadership of great companies.
Then, in rapid-fire order by the time frames of history, the walls began to tumble. Kennedy proved a Catholic could be president and Lieberman proved America was ready for a Jewish vice president. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton changed forever the way blacks and women will be admired seeking the presidency, while Bill Richardson ran as one of the most qualified leaders to seek the office.
After 2008 there will not be one young American man or woman, of any race or religion, who cannot aspire, with great hope of success, to any ambition in life. From leading the nation to managing our largest companies, from being the next person to walk on the moon or the first to find the cure for cancer, there is not one great dream that is beyond the reach of any young American.
For some it will be harder than others, but for all, all things are now possible. This is the great truth of our times. Whether one is pro or con on the Clintons, they sure have raised one exceptional and wonderful daughter. Chelsea Clinton brings to our civic life the good will, dignity, deep knowledge of public issues and aspirations for a noble America that are common to young people no matter whom they support in 2008.
When we hear talk about bigotry, it is almost always about the grown-ups, not the young people, which is the most under-reported story of 2008.
I have written before in this paper that people will be astonished and amazed at what will happen in 2008 and what will happen when the next president speaks in Berlin, and rallies the voice of a generation around the world, not with the iron hand of American domination but with the worldwide appeal of the American idea.
In the long continuum of history, kings, queens, dictators, fascists, communists, racists, sexists, tyrants and terrorists are all destined to lose the great battle of ideas to the simple truth that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.
God bless all of those who paid the price, in war and peace, to make this possible, and God bless the young, who make us proud, and now prepare to inherit the wind.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then-chief deputy whip of the House. He serves on the Advisory Council of the Intelligence Summit and as contributing editor of Fighting Dems News Service. He can be read on The Hill Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.