Hey, He's Our President, Too
I am very happy for African Americans. I am very happy for black America. The first black president is a huge effin' deal. Really huge. An amazing thing. I never thought I'd live to see it, and I'm not yet 40. But . . .
But, Barack Obama is not only the first black president. (Hurray!) He is also, arguably, the first president representing the upper middle class reformers found in the Democratic party. I would argue that he was the first upper middle class reformer nominated by the party since . . . McGovern? Maybe. Even if you grant McGovern--and I would have to think about that--the nominee before him . . . Stevenson in 1956 . . . and either way, that makes Obama the first ever elected. Although I might be persuaded to accept FDR as a reformer, he was not upper middle class. He was a patrician. I might also be persuaded to accept Woodrow Wilson, but well, he was a segregationist and that was another era.
During the campaign, I pondered the confluence of the black candidate (not necessarily the candidate who is black, but the candidate receiving the bulk of the black vote) and the upper middle class reformer types--the folks voting for Bill Bradley in 2000, for example. It proved decisive.
But we upper middle class reformers have been completely ignored. Outrageous!
Or, well, maybe not. Not taking one's own side in the argument, so to speak. Let this be black America's moment. That would be enough.