Where Is Our Hubert Humphrey?
Sixty years ago, Hubert Humphrey “urged the Democratic Party to 'get out of the shadow of states' rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights'” (wikipedia).
Humphrey's minority plank was contentious, and the walkout by Southern states (who nominated Strom Thurmond for president as part of the States Rights party) nearly cost Harry Truman the re-election.
In 1948, there was little risk in allowing states to continue to marginalize people of color. No one was going to lose an election because the “coloreds” weren't being treated as fully human. Yet Humphrey saw an issue that didn't necessarily translate into political power, and decided it was important anyway.
Today, there are quite a few human rights issues being discussed – mostly around gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and other people. And what the Democratic party seems to have learned is “be timid”.
We hear Democratic Party leaders talking about what's “expedient”. Even an openly gay representative buys into this timidity.
We have few bold leaders. Instead, we have people who bow to the tyranny of the majority so they can keep or gain their own positions of power.
To those who would wish to be called leaders, I plead:
Lead! Take a stand! You cannot be a leader by following the safe path of mediocrity.
Risk! You cannot be great by playing it safe.
Believe in the rights of all human beings! We cannot be free while allowing some to be deprived of freedom for reasons of expediency.
See the text of Hubert Humphrey's speech here: American Rhetoric