USA 2008- A Long Walk Home

I recently read some comments from Barack Obama on how delighted he was to have been endorsed by two of my heroes, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. In the midst of a recent Boss listening session, it occurred to me that if Obama really appreciates his task, he might find his perfect campaign theme song– Bruce’s “Long Walk Home”.

The narrator of the song begins my talking about a love he has lost, and looking into the distance at his hometown. In the second verse, he walks through the town, which is itself a ghost town at the moment.

But the thematic guts of the thing, and the part that strikes square in the heart of Obama’s mission, is the last verse of the song:

(pasted from, with one correction)

My father said “Son, we’re lucky in this town
It’s a beautiful place to be born
It just wraps its arms around you
Nobody crowds you, nobody goes it alone.
That old flag flying over the courthouse
Means certain things are set in stone
Who we are, what we’ll do and what we won’t.”

(end paste)

And then comes the refrain: “Its gonna be a long walk home/
Hey pretty Darling, don’t wait up for me”, which is repeated many times.

Barack Obama’s message of change in a well-chosen one. But I hope that the promisor, as well as the promisees, realize that we are in for a long walk home. Half a decade of unwinnable war, the devestation of New Orleans, the so-called Patriot Act, for that matter even something as relatively minor as $4 per gallon gasoline– these last eight years have moved our nation, and our respective hometowns millions of  miles away from the principles which were purported to be set in stone by a million flags over a million courthouses. Maybe what these past eight years have been about has been learning that there is little that America will not do, if the wrong person or persons are in control. Or maybe it has been learning that a nation as ideologically divided as America is in great danger of losing any collective identity that ever existed– soon, it seems, EVERYBODY may be going it alone.

Barack Obama and his constituents will need to remember that change is an enviable, but not easy goal. Undoing all of eight years of mistakes promises to be a very long walk home for everyone.






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3 Responses to “USA 2008- A Long Walk Home”

  1. Amy Hilliard Says:

    Bravo, Joe!

  2. Amie Barnes Says:

    C’mon, Joe! Are we really blaming Bush for everything that has happened in our country the past 8 years? Obama will bring change…. I just don’t think we’ll like what he has to offer.

  3. eljoe1235 Says:

    Thanks for commenting to both Amy and Amie.

    In fairness to the President, even I can’t blame him for everything that has happened. Much of the groundwork for this has been laid decades before, much of it is just plain bad luck (i.e. New Oreleans). But I can’t say I think things have been handled well, and at the end of the day, regardless of who made the mess, it’s ours to clean up.


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