News and views from the award-winning author of the novels The Skinny Years, America Libre, House Divided and Pancho Land

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another martyr in the making?

It’s a dreadful thought. But it’s one several friends have raised. Will Barack Obama serve out his term as president?

While still a candidate, authorities uncovered a plot against our president-elect. How many more like the young men arrested in the conspiracy are waiting in the wings?

More than a few parallels have been drawn between Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy. Both were youthful senators who brought young families into the White House. Both men overcame prejudice to become president. (Many now forget Republicans used Kennedy’s Catholicism to suggest the Oval Office would be ruled by the Vatican.) Kennedy and Obama were also the last two northern Democrats elected to the presidency.

Let’s hope the parallels between Kennedy and Obama end there. As we all know, John F. Kennedy did not survive his term of office, his vast potential as a leader never realized.

It’s reputed that Colin Powell has not run for president because of his wife’s fears for his safety. What a loss for our country when the best and the brightest become the targets of hate.

We’ve taken a giant stride as a society in electing Barack Obama. The majority of Americans have put aside centuries of prejudice and chosen the best candidate for president without regard to skin color. But we must never forget: we are always hostage to the extremist fringe. Those who hate without reason have changed history before.

What can any of us do? I’m left without an answer. I know only one thing for certain …

The nation does not need any more martyrs.

Raul Ramos y Sanchez

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