Monday, October 27, 2008

Jaded, Yet Hopeful

Let me preface this entry by saying: I am a jaded person when it comes to politics. I have never been a "true believer" and I have never been very active in the party politics of my nation--largely because I am not a fan of either party. However, I am a very politically-aware person; by nature of my lifelong interest in government, social justice, and international affairs, I have followed politics closely since I was a small child. Perhaps it's that lifelong interest in the affairs of state that has made me jaded.

I know that there is no politician who is not tainted in some way by some compromise. Too often, it seems like our "leaders" are corrupt and completely disconnected from the real world of "everyday people." I know from my own life--growing up working class in America--that this is a nation full of people who work very hard for very little. I also know, from many years living and traveling in other nations, that we are uniquely privileged in many ways, even in our despairing moments. We are also supposed to be responsible for our government, by virtue of its own declarations, and, when our government makes decisions that ruin the lives of people on the other side of the world and in our own country, we are responsible for that, too.

The last eight years have been nightmarish, not only for Americans, but for the world. I was very jaded going into this election season, fearful that we would not have any new options. However, as it grows closer and closer to our election day, I am increasingly impressed with Barack Obama, and I want to encourage you to vote for him on November 4th. He gave a speech today that I think is truly important--and remember, I am jaded! I am not a person who is normally moved by either politicians nor nationalism. This speech, however, is saying something important. We do not need to continue to evoke fear and hatred in our country and around the world any more. And I believe, by selecting Barack Obama as our president, Americans may begin to show the world that we are not all war mongerers, haters, or morons. We aim for a better life for ourselves and our world.

Do I think Barack Obama will solve all our problems? Of course not. But will his election restore our good name around the world and change the discourse of our country away from hate and toward reconciliation? I believe so. If you have a vote in the USA, please consider casting it for Barack Obama.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from Obama's speech. I hope you will vote for Barack Obama next Tuesday.

“In one week, you can put an end to the politics that would divide a nation just to win an election; that tries to pit region against region, city against town, Republican against Democrat; that asks us to fear at a time when we need hope."

“In one week, at this defining moment in history, you can give this country the change we need...[A]s I’ve said from the day we began this journey all those months ago, the change we need isn’t just about new programs and policies. It’s about a new politics – a politics that calls on our better angels instead of encouraging our worst instincts; one that reminds us of the obligations we have to ourselves and one another.”

“[W]hat we have lost in these last eight years cannot be measured by lost wages or bigger trade deficits alone. What has also been lost is the idea that in this American story, each of us has a role to play. Each of us has a responsibility to work hard and look after ourselves and our families, and each of us has a responsibility to our fellow citizens. That’s what’s been lost these last eight years – our sense of common purpose; of higher purpose. And that’s what we need to restore right now.”

Obama on the Wall (2008)
Camera: Olympus e-300
Location: Denton, Texas, USA

1 comment:

Faiqa said...

You expressed my sentiments, exactly. In the past few months, I've caught myself being far more "nationalistic" than I've *ever* been. I credit that to the vision of an America of which he speaks... I so much want us to be that nation. It feels scary to hope so much. But, good, too.