A magazine for Africans and friends of Africa...Our Voices, Our Vision, Our Culture

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A Year and A Day Later
By African Magazine Staff Writer
A Year and A Day Later

 

 

It bears noting that in some ways the fact that he is both the 44th and the 1st is what is paradoxical.

 

The democrats have had a hard road of coalescing their party and forming a coherent narrative, which as some of us realize has been the Archilles Heel of the Democratic party. In fact, the mere definition of democratic and liberal values, intimates a broad based and inclusive affair, so much of what doesn’t work in terms of leadership.

 

About five years ago, some girlfriends and I established a non-profit organization, dedicated to helping marginalized communities.  Each month, one member would be responsible for coming up with a creative volunteer opportunity, and the rest of us would assist in helping that member get that idea of the ground, so to speak.

 

I get frustrated simply recalling the hours and hours of stalling, talking, hand-wringing and arguing that ultimately led to our non-action. As a group, we functioned best when we forged ahead despite the frustrations and disagreements. As a leader of that group, I recognized how my own need to include everyone and acknowledge every aspect of an argument, often led to a dissolving of a unified force. Eventually, we all got to coddle our own ideas, and retreat to our respective corners. That is the dirtiest trick of politics. To serve people who are often confused, inarticulate, and ignorant of the issues, is also to trust yourself to lead people. After all the argument and heming and hawing, at the end of the day, my group was looking to me for direction and focus and to decide. And my inability to decide, to weigh the options and to make the hard choices ultimately led to a dissolution of the group.

 

That lesson has stayed with me for my lifetime, because it was where I began to understand the distinction between having power and wielding power.

 

I have revered and respected Mr. Obama’s politics of inclusiveness and his campaign for transparency, but at the end of the day, ideology is very different from action, and the history of a Presidency lies, not in his ability to have wonderful ideas, but in part in his ability to  be willing to

 

Like my mother says, everyone can’t be invited to the party. We should have learned that from day one.

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