obama rally

When President Bush stood atop a pile of rubble at Ground Zero and told the rescue volunteers the rest of the world would soon hear us, he had me.   When he went before Congress and the American people and spoke of either being with us or against us, he had me.   He had me feeling so patriotic, so American, that as I walked around my college campus I had an American flag sticking out of my book bag for months.   I supported the president.   I was patriotic.   I was proud to be an American.

But then the president threw it all away.   He lost me.   He lost me with the Iraq war and the false reasons for fighting, the poor planning and execution, and the lack of a responsible exit strategy.   He lost me with his government-sponsored torture programs and the indefinite detentions and lack of indictments of “enemy combatants.”   He lost me with his disastrous lack of a response and coherent leadership after Hurricane Katrina.   He lost me with his countless assaults on the environment and what is essentially his war on science.   He lost me with his warrantless wiretappings, his signing statements, and his trashing of the separation of powers with his unitary executive doctrine and his stonewalling of Congress and ignoring of subpoenas and contempt citations.   He lost me with his farcical war on terror and his failure to capture Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.”   He lost me with threatening a war with Iran after he had severely weakened U.S. armed forces by stretching them thin and not sending them into battle fully supported, prepared, and supplied.   He lost me with the deterioration of America’s image abroad.   He lost me with Alberto Gonzales, Donald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney.   He lost me with Karl Rove and their tactics of divisive slash and burn politics.   President Bush lost me.   I lost my faith in the presidency, my faith in government, and my faith in America.

But then something changed that rather someone changed that.   On a cold February morning last year in Springfield, Illinois, a young, vivacious senator invited us to fight with him for change and to restore America’s greatness.   Barack Obama gave me hope, and he gave me inspiration, and that is why I support him to be the 44th President of the United States of America.

After so many years of disillusionment and cynicism toward government and politics, feeling inspired was a welcomed change for me.   Our leaders should inspire us.   They should inspire us to work for the common good of our country.   They should inspire us to see hope in ourselves and each other.   They should inspire us to fight for and work hard to achieve that good and that hope.   Our leaders should inspire us not to serve them but to serve each other.

Our leaders should inspire us to work for the much needed and much discussed change we need from securing our future by ridding our dependence on fossil fuels to investing in quality, affordable health care for all to strengthening our educational system and providing teachers and students with the tools and support they need for success to engaging in a responsible foreign policy that returns America to the respectable stature we once held.

And beyond the political issues to change our futures come the inspirational issues to alter generations for young African-American children to have a role model in Barack Obama who isn’t a Hollywood celebrity, hip-hop musician, or sports superstar; for citizens of the world to see in Barack Obama a new face on America; and for us to see in Barack Obama not the color of his skin but the content of his character.

His character is his experience the experience of strong judgment, the experience of intellectual curiosity, the experience of sound vision, and the experience of a ferocious calmness in the face of crisis.

What Barack Obama has taught me inspired in me is that we have the power to effect our future, to break free of the partisan shackles that have bound us to bitter divisiveness.   We have the ability to shout to those who clamor for status quo that we are tired of more-of-the-same, that we are ready for something bold and something new.   We are ready not to be blindly led and told what someone else can do for us, but instead we are ready for what someone else can do with us; we are ready for what we can do for each other by joining together with Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

We can move past that which divides us to form a more perfect Union.

We can create a new birth of freedom in America.

We can ask what we can do for America.

We can fix what is wrong in America with what is right in America.

We can heal this nation and repair this world.

Yes, we can.