Monday, March 31, 2008

My favorite sportswriter, Joe Posanski asked readers to send in short essays on politics, he chose mine!

Ben: Whatever Change Means, Obama Unites

When discussing Obama's candidacy, from any and all ends of the political spectrum, we are presented with words like "change" and "hope". Many critical of Obama's candidacy have disparaged these buzzwords, pointing out (not entirely unfairly), that these nebulous terms are rarely well defined. I am not particularly concerned with what Barack Obama means by change. What concerns me, what thrills me, is that people are excited by it. People may not know what he means by change, and they may not know what they mean by change, but they know that they want it, and they feel that Barack Obama can provide it.

As a 23 year old, my first opportunity to participate in the democratic process was the election of 2004. I voted for John Kerry, but I felt little pride in casting a vote for someone I viewed as a middling moderate, a man I supported for no real reason other than to try to protect the this country, and the rest of the world, from the chaos our current Commander in Chief has it plunging into. I voted, but a great many young people did not vote, a great many African-Americans did not vote, a great many poor people did not vote. They felt that their voices would not be heard, and they were right, they have been right for many years.

For the first time in my lifetime, these socially and economically disenfranchised feel very strongly that they may play a role in forming a government which truly cares about who they are, and about what they need. They feel that Barack Obama is the man to bring this government about. At the end of the day, the importance of this election rests less on the issues and policies, then on what the outcome truly means to these people, who have been so long without hope.

Should Barack Obama become our President, these individuals and groups will be validated. When we talk about united Americans, we aren't really talking about Red and Blue, we are talking about rich and poor, minority and majority. We are talking about elevating the position of those who have, for too long, been pushed aside to a point of equality.

If these voices are heard, it will be a day of tremendous importance for the future of this nation. If these voices are denied, they will feel that they were right all along, no one ever cared about what they had to say, about their struggles and about their lives. And this final disillusionment , seems to me, far more damaging, than any presidency.

Ben Feldman

2 comments:

Remy LeBeau said...

I disillusioned your mom last night

ben said...

oh no!