Nov 5, 2008

Hail to the Cheif

I don't usually use this blog to discuss political affairs, but since the election is now over, I just thought I'd share some of my impressions of this historic event.

For weeks I was undecided, and exposed to rumors and emails about Obama's ideas and personal character. It’s funny – these actually made it easier for me to make the choice to support Obama. I felt like he was being discriminated against for coming from a non-traditional family, or being raised in another country. It seems that the hardest insult being thrown at Obama was that he was secretly a Muslim. What does it even matter if he was a Muslim? We have thousands of Muslims living and working in America that are going through the same struggles and hardships that we are. After seeing the group of people I would be lumped with as a McCain supporter, the choice became a little easier.

I also have to thank the Republican National Committee for helping me to choose Obama. In the last few weeks, I was receiving multiple emails every day from the RNC asking for donations to help defeat Obama. Those emails never mentioned Republican values or McCain’s proposed policies – just the idea that we must give as much as possible to keep Obama out of the White House. Clearly, they had nothing to positive to say about their own campaign.

So I voted for Obama. Me, a white, 30-year old Republican. 7 out of 10 voters in my county disagreed with me, and picked McCain over Obama. And now that the results are in, I am proud of my country, and proud of myself for voting the way I did and helping to usher in what looks to be a new way of doing things.

Obama motivated and inspired this country like never before. His words have given hope to all kinds of people, from ambivalent college kids who used to think their votes didn't matter, to jaded baby boomers who've become sick of voting for "the lesser of two evils." Obama seemed to create voting excitement for them all. Our governor, Charlie Christ, had to declare a state of emergency to extend early voting hours in Florida due to the long lines. And on November 4, polling places across the country were flooded with voters, many of whom were lining up around the block. I heard several stories of people who had voted in the same precinct for years and never had to wait – but yesterday they stood in line for an hour and a half. And you know what? They were happy. They were energized. They were glad to see new faces taking their right to vote seriously.

Obama encouraged these feelings across the country by challenging the notion that certain states will always vote Republican, so there’s no reason for Democrats to campaign in them. He visited locations that hadn’t seen a presidential candidate since the Civil War. And it worked. Virginia and Indiana haven't supported a Democratic candidate since 1964 - that was 11 elections and 44 years ago. Both went to Obama. He also took Florida without incident – and that's saying something! He made traditional Republican states into battleground states, and went on the offensive.

And it worked. Obama closed his victory speech with these words:

“This is our moment. This is our time - to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American Dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth - that out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope, and where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes We Can.”

And when it came to the Presidential Election of 2008 - yes, we did!

1 comment:

movie fan said...

i can't help thinking it's awesome that there has been such long lines all over... people taking a greater interest in public issues is always a good thing