Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Why I am For Obama

It was nearly four years ago. A young senator from Illinois was giving a speech at the Democratic National Convention. While I did not waste my time watching the whole fiasco, the reaction to this speech ran through the internet like wildfire.

Links to it popped up like dandelions on a spring day.

I listened once. Then again.

My pulse quickened, my breathing became shorter and more shallow. Small adrenline squirts were activated because my soul and my brain were excited.

Excited with the possibility of hope.

I was sold at that moment on the idea of this man one day becoming president.

And it was not for me that I was excited. I am a child of the late 60s, early 70s. I remember (vaguely) the sense of hope that JFK created in his presidency, though he died when I was in 6th grade. I recall the hope for a better world that Martin Luthor King held out. I remember believing that Bobby Kennedy offered a chance for world peace and Malcolm X a hope for racial reconciliation.

That was my youth and my time. We know it all disappeared.

Hope was replaced:

for hostages held over a year in a foreign land;
for gas lines block long;
for positive images of young boys skating on ice into history;
for the tearing down of walls;
for the ending of governments;
for a stained dress;
for sensationalism;
for cynicsm.

When I first heard Barak Obama speak, I thought: this is the person who can energize a generation. A generation that has been disenfranchised. A generation without the hope that I had at their age. A generation that appears completely engaged only in their own survival and destruction.

To get these young people pulled into the fold that is the citizenship of the US, we need a vision. Professor Kim said it most clearly when she wrote:
I think the response to Barack Obama reflects the hunger that Americans have had for an inclusive vision that acknowledges the mistakes of the past and looks to future in a positive way. There are a lot of questions about how one gets there.
I see in this man a chance for inclusion.

I see a chance to bring the young Americans back to being active participants in their government, in their society, in their future. I have high hopes for these youngest of citizens. I don't want to let them down; and I don't want to let them off the hook.

May we find a leader who pulls them into the process with vision and hope and who does not then replace it divisiveness and vitriol. Who does not lose another generation.

I also blog at: Deb's Daily Distractions and BlogHer on Mondays and Saturdays.

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