America, the Beautiful: A Country Love Song…

America, the Beautiful:  A Country Love Song…

I will be the first to say that I have peculiar politics.  I am as moderate as a brown person can be short of being Colin Powell.  I often see both sides of points made along the political spectrum.  Sometimes, during holiday gatherings and happy hours, this gets me in trouble.

Yet, this election- one where I initially saw the candidates as having more policy commonalities than not - was one where the overarching themes of “inclusiveness of opportunity” versus “exclusivity of entitlement” affected me deeply.   We are a country that can only be great if we lift as we climb, and with a full heart, I am proud to see that a majority of Americans believe the same.

This morning, I reflect on those who have colored the lens from which I view politics and who have helped me to form my beliefs in public policy.  My graduate school mentor, King Harris, a white man who understands that privilege doesn’t come without responsibility.  Grace Hou, a Chinese woman who can navigate policy and bureaucracies like no other person in this country.   Angela Rudolph, a Black policy wonk with the chutzpa to fight for the most marginalized members of our society.   Christine Harley, a Native American and Korean woman who advocates for immigrant rights with mind-boggling fervor and passionate.    Kevin Davey, a Black man whose old school political beliefs will never give up on poor Blacks.  Greg Diephouse, who is probably the most idealistic policy person in the entire United States.

This beautiful array of individuals are the people I think of this morning when I consider the future direction of our country- one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Filed under: Politics, Pop Culture, Race

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    Kay S

    Kay Smith is a Chicago-based freelance writer and blogger who focuses on race, politics and urban culture. Having worked on public policy at the state, regional, city and community level, her opinions have been featured in the Chicago SunTimes and a host of news websites (under very mysterious sounding pseudonyms). Follow her on Twitter @kaywillsmith or contact her at

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