Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sweet Beginnings

Every American who watched Barack Obama draw a cheering crowd of 200,000 in the heart of "Old Europe" must be immensely proud. Anything short of that is just plain bitterness and senseless rancor. Senator Obama has lifted the curtain on a "known-known" that has been obscured by eight years of combative politics: That the world longs for an America that awes the soul with inspirational possibilities rather than one that shocks the mind with threatening postures and bullying propositions.

The world is excited and America should be proud. The dark cloud of fear and anger is moving away despite the troubled souls who want to hold it back; despite the cynical voices who do not believe we can finally chase it away.

When I decided to support Barack Obama I had already read his first book and was anticipating his second. I had already related to his personal story and intellectual journey through my own experiences. I knew what he talked about when he openly discussed his early struggles with identity and loss. I knew what he meant when he described his intellectual evolution from arid confusion to buoyant illumination. Like him, I see the world for the good it is capable of and not for the harm it occasionally inflicts upon itself. Barack’s sense of hopeful idealism is something I can remember to have struggled for and not to have inherited; something I know was difficult to attain when early indicators of my circumstances pointed instead towards cynicism and doubt.
I know why I support Barack because I know where he is coming from.

So, I will no doubt disagree with him on various policy approaches to issues both large and small. I can disagree with him on FISA, discourage him from adopting a protectionist stance on trade, argue with him over the role of government in the economy, and urge him not to delay the next-generation space vehicle program. But, I also know why I support Barack Obama. I support him because I believe him to be the most inspiring political figure to appear on the world stage in several decades. I support him because I believe him to be the person who will reclaim the America that kids around the world can close their eyes and dream about. I support him because I know that what shaped his heart and molded his mind is a longing for the betterment of both self and the other in the face of cynical odds.

America has again produced its best and brightest at a time when skeptics are writing it off as ‘a nation in decline’; an affirmation of both its history and destined trajectory.


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