Friday, May 23, 2008

Let's Dare to Hope

By Tony Deligio

To truly hope, to feel that tomorrow will be better than today, and the next day perhaps more so, is rare, especially with regards to our politics. But this week, with Barack Obama mathematically clinching the nomination and heading to the general election versus John McCain—barring superdelegate obstruction—the feeling I have is distinctly hopeful.

Cynical, depressed, enraged, or shocked would have more aptly described my attitude toward our political leaders over the last eight years, with the prevailing attitude more recently being apathetic. But as Bush’s term wound down, those feelings coalesced into a determination to do something. I’ve never volunteered for any political campaign, but when Barack Obama pledged many months ago to forego lobbyist money, I was intrigued. Even so, when a local Obama office e-mailed plans for an organizational meeting, I was ready with any number of excuses. At the top of the message, however, a quote from the Illinois Senator stirred me:

“I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington…I’m asking you to believe in yours.”

I was sold, and when I arrived at the meeting, the Obama office was standing-room only with local organizers giving their spiel twice to cycle everyone through. I stayed in touch, and when Colorado’s caucus came, I attended as an observer since my independent registration meant I couldn’t participate. In years past, the caucus for my district had drawn tens, but that night, it was hundreds, with an entire cafeteria filled. Obama’s victory in my home district mirrored the roughly 60:40 win he garnered statewide against Hillary Clinton, and as I drove home, the radio reported similar victories throughout the country. From my bed I turned on the TV and caught the end of the senator’s victory speech, with one line in particular sticking with me:

“We are the change we have been waiting for.”

Indeed we are. The gross incompetence of the last eight years ultimately rests with the American electorate for being disengaged at best and outright apathetic at worst. A president who had his first term delivered to him by the Supreme Court, with the second coming with a 51% “majority” had rendered sweeping, destructive change on a country as if he had carried all 50 states, and all the while, many (including myself), simply tuned out.

My cynical side still mutters from time to time, “Washington is beyond hope…Obama’s words are uplifting, but race and class will keep America divided…” and on, and on, but this past Tuesday from Iowa, Barack Obama said…

“We are ready to believe again”

…and I’m hoping he is right.

1 comment:

the mama bird diaries said...

I feel hopeful too... for the first time in a long time.