Monday, May 05, 2008

Vote Obama

On Friday, I attended a rally for Barack Obama that took place on my campus. The speaker was Michelle Obama.

Before the rally, I was a pretty strong Obama supporter; when I left, I was convinced of how very, very important an Obama presidency is to our country.

After eight years of neo-fascist Republican rule, any Democrat in the White House will be a vast improvement.

But we have an opportunity to emerge from our American ordeal to grasp something extraordinary. I will be voting for Barack Obama because I believe he will bring out America's "higher angels," to use Abraham Lincoln's powerful phrase. He will provide a model for how all Americans, not just politicians, should interact with each other: with fairness, with caring, and with a spirit of collaboration, with a commitment to community.

There are many who will argue that politics doesn't work that way; that politics is about partisanship, about power, and about money. A vote for John McCain or Hilary Clinton is a vote for this view of politics. If you vote for one of those two candidates, to my mind you give up forever all right to complain about the political system, because you had a chance to change it an failed to take it. You chose the status quo over the future. If you vote for John McCain or Hilary Clinton, you are voting for the continued drift of America to the right and toward a corporate future.

Clinton has spent a month now trying to pin the "elite" label on Obama. It is an absurd idea. Barack Obama is the child of a single mother who raised in the 1960s a child of mixed race -- what's elite about that? Does anybody remember the 1960s -- you know, the time when African-Americans had to struggle to get the right to vote? Michele Obama is the daughter of a father with multiple sclerosis who worked as a city worker throughout his life -- what's elite about that? Both received excellent educations as a result of scholarships, but nevertheless emerged carrying enormous debts. But instead of going into corporate law practice, they both worked in community organizing. "From those to whom much is given, much is expected." They gave back. And like so many of us, including me, they have just paid off their student loan debt. That's real experience, the kind of first-hand experience that moves policies from theory to reality. They have the perfect combination: humble backgrounds and incredible intellects. The experience and morality of the poor joined with the education of the elite.

I have already cast my early ballot. If you are in NC or IN, I urge you to vote to end this divisive Democratic slugfest now. Send a message that Obama is the people's choice and represents the people's voice. Vote for the future, not more of the same. Vote for a new way of being Americans. Vote for a foreign policy based on negotiation and diplomacy, not bellicose threats of obliteration. Vote for our higher angels.

Vote for Barack Obama.

I'm Scott Walters, and I endorsed this blog post.

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