Now that Joe Biden is officially on the ticket as Obama's running mate, I'm really fired up about the convention! Despite the exorbitant $50 million being spent for security alone (how many bridge and school repairs does that represent?) and despite the Denver City Council having outlawed carrying buckets of feces onto the premises, the important thing is that the excruciating loneliness of the long-distance runner has finally ended.
For nearly two unrelenting years, David has been wrestling Goliath all by himself--kicked around like a football on a daily basis, not only by opponents and detractors, but often by supporters as well. Thus far in the story, the hero has behaved with grace, poise, concentration, and self-confidence. His opponent on the other side, a prankster and the Father of Lies, has deprecated him for all of his real efforts, delighted in trying to shoot him down and destroy him, convicted him for his charisma. With the energy that comes from envy, he has raged at his specialness and seemingly emerged victorious.
Finally, however, we've arrived at the classic moment in the fairy tale when, just as all seems lost, the magical helper arrives whose guiding hand allows the hero to complete his impossible task. BinGo Joe! Obama says of Joe Biden: "He's what others pretend to be." About his old senatorial buddy John McCain, Biden says: "I don't recognize the guy anymore."
So the hero gets to "cross the Delaware" with Joe Biden: someone who has great admiration for him and respects his capacity for leadership and self control. Perhaps the symbolic father he never had will now be at his side, egging him on, cheering for him and covering his back. In choosing Biden, I think Barack has made a game-changing choice, one that may even prove to have been a "checkmating" one. The loneliness may be over, but there is still the big sprint to the finish line. With a bit of luck, things may go a little easier from now on, because, as somebody else put it, the Democrats finally have a Fight Club. Speaking of fighting, let me share these wonderful images I found in a random blogger's commentary (complete with misspellings and all):
"A couple of years ago, i had a pizza dream... one of those dreams where one thing after another happens and it all seems logical at the time.
When i woke up the vivid thing i remembered was Joe Bidden in the Senate slapped Dick Cheney's face with a kid glove. Then, we raced to the Washington Mall in time to see old Joe in a wig and velvet cut-away coat brandising a sword. He then proceeded to cut all Cheney's clothes off his back till Cheney stood white, fat and naked in front of a big crowd. Very statisfyin', i can tell you. I have recognized my crush on Joe Bidden ever since. A real man. Sometimes you just need to send in a real, stand-up guy."
And speaking of fighting, here is Obama responding to a Newsweek interviewer this week about whether he may or may not be too soft for this unsavory political contest:
"...the world out there can be tough... there is evil in the world and not every problem can be solved by mutual understanding, and power will assert itself and may not stop asserting itself until it hits a wall. I think that's true in American politics, and I think that's true in foreign policy. [You need] countervailing power. Which is why you have very rarely seen me in my campaigns throwing the first punch. But I'll tell you what, if I get punched, very rarely have you seen me not hit back hard."
"Ours is not an age that wants heroes," write the authors of "King, Warrior, Magician, Lover," Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette. "Ours is an age of envy, in which laziness and self-involvement are the rule. Anyone who tries to shine, who dares to stand above the crowd, is dragged back down by his lackluster and self-appointed 'peers.'
"We need a great rebirth of the heroic in our world. Every sector of human society, wherever that may be on the planet, seems to be slipping into an unconscious chaos. Only the heroic consciousness, exerting all its might, will be able to stop this slide toward oblivion. Only a massive rebirth of courage in both men and women will rescue the world. Against enormous odds, the Hero picks up his sword and charges into the heart of the abyss, into the mouth of the dragon, into the castle under the power of an evil spell."
Anyone who views what is going on over these next couple of months as anything less than an archetypal struggle for the future of our world is missing the entire political point.