For the first time in my adult life I feel passion in supporting a politician. In 2000 I voted for Nader, not because I liked his platform but because I liked his anti-establishment rhetoric. In hindsight I think I saw through a glass darkly, because I thought Gore and Bush to be two sides to the same aristocratic coin. Sadly time has proved me wrong. Yet instead of presenting an alternative to Bush in 04 I was stuck with a barely palatable democrat in John Kerry. And so I did what I've always done and squandered my vote on yet another 3rd party candidate.
Yet this election is different. I started the election cycle supporting Bill Richardson. Finally an American of Mexican ancestry was running for president. His experience, his ancestry, and his immigration policy made me firm in my support of him. Something happened though between that day and Super Tuesday. It was nothing on Richardson's part but it was when I first encountered Senator Obama's book The Audacity of Hope that I realized that something new and wonderful could happen this election year.
As I've said before I found this book moving. Its lofty rhetoric inspires in a way that politics hasn't in many years. Instead of accusations and vilification against his opponents Obama in his book and throughout his campaign has lived by the mantra that it took those of all stripes to make this the great nation it was and will take us all to renew it. Since reading that book my admiration and support for Senator Obama has grown significantly. I find in him the hope and ideas that I've always wanted from a politician.
For those of you in the States struggling to find a presidential candidate that suits you, all I can say is that the one that inspires you to be a better, citizen and person, irregardless of personal policy differences you might have, is your best choice. Too long Americans have allowed single issues like abortion or the environment to define their politics. This election year more than any other proves that such outlooks miss the point of a democracy. If you support a politician because you find him less offensive than his competition you will never be inspired by him to truly become part of something meaningful and lasting. Only one who can evoke love and hope for a better tomorrow can really accomplish such change.
It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.
Yes we can.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.
Yes we can.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.
Yes we can.
It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
Yes we can to justice and equality.
Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.
Yes we can heal this nation.
Yes we can repair this world.
Yes we can.
We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.
We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant ........... We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.
But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.
Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea --
Yes. We. Can.