on the other side of the world….
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“We are the change we’ve been waiting for…” Part III

…But there is hope, and I’m thrilled…

Most of you know that I support Obama. I have from fairly early on in the race. I realize that I fall into the demographic of “young adult liberal” so why wouldn’t I support Obama? Good point, but there’s more to it than just that. I remember watching his speech in 2004 to the Democratic National Convention and saying to myself – why can’t every politician be like that? Precise, Hopeful, Genuine. Little did I know he would battle the Clinton machine and become the Democratic nominee only 4 years later. For the most part Obama also seems to abhor social conservatism as much as me and is taking that battle to the source (winning most of the time). He’s a masterful politician (and he’s only 47). He has been successfully running a campaign for the highest Washington office based on an anti-Washington platform (Clinton didn’t even try that… ). He actually seems to change his mind now and then when the circumstances require it after deliberating and consulting with his advisors. He’s willing to admit his faults and seems to be open to other options than just what he thinks is right. Most of all he brings dignity, change, and hope back to the table; three things that the country has needed and waited for, for the past 8 years. This notion that America could actually be proud of the way it conducts itself in the world again has gripped the nation. It’s sad that that’s even a necessary change, but no one will argue that it’s true. After the past 8 years of the politics of fear, the country is ready and in need of some hope. That’s why Obama routinely draws 40 thousand people to his rallies and amassed a crowd of over 200,000 people in Berlin, 99% of which can’t even help elect him. That’s why he has one of the largest ground campaigns in history with supporters flooding every state knocking on doors and hosting gatherings. Call it rhetoric, call it lofty, call him an “empty suit”, call him elite (and explain to me why that is bad?), but it’s caught on and gotten people excited about this year’s election. I have friends and family who never would have thought twice about politics normally, but Obama has made them feel like they can contribute and be a part of the process again. Granted much of this can be attributed to the disdain and unhappiness many feel with the current administration, but Obama is an exciting candidate and a great representative to seize the opportunity of change. For the first time in my brief political awareness I feel like what I stand for and believe in might be represented and fought for in Washington. And who knows, maybe in a few years it’ll be just a little bit easier to have health insurance, a little bit easier to buy gas, a little bit safer to travel abroad, a little bit easier to own a house, we’ll be a little bit closer to real energy independence, produce a little bit less pollution every day, and we’ll have a little bit more stable global economy.

Now I’m the first to admit that some of Obama’s proposals sound a little far-fetched and expensive, and that the challenges he faces are unmatched in history. Universal health care will be hard to make happen and may not work at first. Education in America needs a complete overhaul – good luck on that. Foreign policy needs to be redefined – We can’t continue to wage on war on states, when the enemy is a stateless entity. Social Security is disappearing – I’m not even expecting any money but my Parents still better get some. The Economy needs a good facelift – Please, make the korean Won go back up. The list goes on, but it is because Obama is ready and willing to try to change or fix even some of these problems that he gets my vote. When I hear Obama say we need to change Washington, I know (or hope) that it’s not just a political saying. When McCain says it, I feel like it’s only because he has to now, that’s the only thing this election can be about if you want to win. McCain might bring change to Washington, but more in the swift moving “Maverick” style of sudden jumps. I’d rather a steady swift overhaul – let’s step back and make sure this thing is right. Sitting here in Korea I can see that things are possible. I went to the Dentist today and only spent 5 dollars. I bought cold medicine last week for only 2. Universal health care can happen and it can work. Granted Korea got to restart and build up from scratch 60 years ago but it’s possible; and Korea is not the only one who’s gotten it right.

Obama wants to try to get it right…
…and that’s why I support him.

I’m not asking people to agree with me. I’m not asking people to say I’m right or wrong. I am asking for people to think. To research. To examine all the options and then make up your mind. I don’t care who you’re rooting for, as long as you take a second to think about why you support them, what one position makes you stay on one side or the other, what one quality has steered you that way? What quote or policy? Now – go research it – make sure it’s true, make sure the other guy doesn’t think the same thing and if they don’t – why? Once you sift through the rubble of American “journalism” make up your momentary mind. Then tomorrow – do it again. I’ll do the same. I’ll research both McCain and Obama, both Palin and Biden and everyone else on my ballot in an attempt to become better informed in the remaining days of the election. It’s the least we can do… Then, of course, go vote!

This manifesto of sorts is by no means an attack on anyone’s beliefs or political leanings. Only an attack on apathy. Only a rally of support for what I believe in and a call for awareness of what has been and could be, that I can’t let slide by as “policy” or “patriotism”. Not this time – the problems of the world have only been accentuated by seeing how the other half lives. And I’ll be coming home soon…

1 comment

1 Michael Levy { 10.15.08 at 3:12 pm }

Yeah, $5 dentist visits are pretty sweet. And just about every other industrial country has universal health care. It will be exciting to see what Obama can do once he gets into office. We’ll keep our fingers crossed for the won ;)