Aug. 28th, 2008 11:34 pm
aimeelicious: (Obama08)
[personal profile] aimeelicious
For eight years now, I have been conflicted about my patriotism and love of the country where I was born. I've felt as though my faith in the United States of America as a fair and righteous world leader has been shaken, and rightly so. As a nation, we have carried ourselves poorly both domestically and abroad. We've been led by someone who has chosen his *own* beliefs as the basis for governorship, rather than the fundamentals of the Constitution and a *collective* common sense of what is right and wrong.

And it's been painful to me, because I've always considered myself fortunate to be born here. Lucky, to have the kind of opportunity being American affords in so many ways, from access to clean water, to a PhD at Harvard, and 800 cereal choices at the food store. Lucky, to be in a country where neighbors help neighbors, people get second chances, and have the right to say what they want about anything they want, and worship however they choose.

But even if those opportunities still exist, what do they mean if we're the world's biggest bully? What do they mean if people who love each other can't get married? What do they mean if I can no longer have a private conversation? What do they mean if I can't make a choice about whether or not I want to bear children? What do they mean if I end up in a detention center offshore for two years with no access to legal aid? What do they mean when oil companies post record profits while families are choosing between gas and groceries? What do they mean if I can't afford to buy medication for my sick mother, or sick child, or myself?

I watched history tonight, beyond the basic "first African-American" bit, which is powerful in its own right, but only half the story. Obama's speech revealed things I already knew, and some things I did not. He is a smart man, a man with pride, yet one who underneath all that polish and rhetoric still has what seems to be a genuine heart. A man with promise, a man who loves his kids, a man who could actually be our next President, and serve in that office with dignity and grace and intelligence and fervor.

Barak Obama may not have all the answers. He is not a god, or a miracle worker. He's no doubt made mistakes in his life, which we are likely to hear about if the Republicans can dig them up. And his ideas are BIG, meaning they'll be tough and expensive to actually implement. I understand all that, as well as the fact that when he's elected, he'll have no magic wand to wave, making everything better overnight. But he believes in the future, he brings me hope for my struggling country, and I look forward to voting for him in November.
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