Until about a year ago, I was never into politics. Barely an adult, I had kept up with them just enough via the Internet to make an informed vote in local and state elections. While true I was relatively more educated about these matters than most of my peers, I still wouldn’t have been able to hold my own in a sustained conversation or debate on important political matters.
But things have changed. I have changed. And our 44th President was huge part of that change.
2007 and 2008 were rough years for me, personally. Financial strife. Educational disappointments. A bad relationship. It was during this time I started paying more attention to the news, to remind myself that there were greater things out there.
Early 2008, I came across the writings of Andrew Sullivan while writing an argumentative paper in favor of same-sex marriage. Clear, logical, intellectual yet concise, his writing style fascinated me. I subscribed to his blog. From there I read his essay, Why Obama Matters.
Registered a Democrat from previous elections, I had been eyeing Clinton and Obama as the forerunners in the democratic primary race. After reading Sullivan’s article, I had no reservations. I saw the organizational skills Obama was utilizing on the Internet and was thoroughly impressed. I cast my primary vote with no doubt in my mind.
I cast my presidential vote months later with the same confidence.
The hype is justified. Repeat. The hype is justified. Put it into the perspective that the 60s were not so long ago. It is a testament to the fluidity of American values forward, and it is this fluidity which makes my cynical soul truly proud to be a citizen of this country.
I believe that we will get through this recession and the bailout money eventually repaid. I believe that the international integrity of our country, despite all the scandal, can be rebuilt. I believe that my decision to study public administration and economics with the hopes of aiding in the reformation of America’s health care system is the right one. I believe that the pragmatism and optimism that Barack Obama brings to the table is exactly what we need right now:
“The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment—this was the time—when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.”