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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Yes we can.

That’s the true genius of America, that America can change. Our union can be perfected. And what we have already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

I voted early. After my absentee ballot went off in the post I had weeks to second guess my third-part candidate decision, weeks to worry whether my vote would be tossed out for any number of unethical reasons, weeks to wring my hands as it appeared the dreaded McCain might be closing in on Obama, and weeks to plead Obama's case, refuting family and friends' weak arguments, appealing for an anti-McCain vote to any one of the other presidential hopefuls:

Pro-life? Why support a man who intends to occupy Iraq until all threats are gone? One hundred years is a long time. How could you vote for the candidate that jokes about bombing Iran? Personally, I don't like the idea of abortion, but I believe that in America, a free country, a woman should have the right to decide what to do with her own body. Freedom of religion means freedom from religion as well. That's what our country was truly founded on.

Upset that Obama won't wear a flag pin on his lapel? Or won't place his hand on his heart during the pledge? Since when did that become a requirement? Doesn't living in a free country give you the right not to? I don't pledge my allegiance to a 100% 2-ply, spun woven polyester piece of fabric. Or a 200 Denier Nylon weave. Or even a 100% heavyweight cotton bunting, for that matter. Nor the republic, a governmental entity, for which it stands. I do pledge allegiance to the idea of liberty and justice for all, it just doesn't require my chest-thumping avowal.

Against redistributing the wealth? What about compassion and love for the least of our brothers? Afraid of socialism? You should be more afraid of theocracy.

Not going to vote for a black guy? At least you're honest. There are other candidates.

On numerous occasions I've bitched about the lack of freedoms and abuses of power here in Australia, a constitutional democracy with socialist tendencies, but I admit to enjoying the benefits as well. It's a fairly good blend of ideologies here, but America has the added benefit of a Bill of Rights -- as watered down as those rights have become lately -- that will continue to protect our essential freedoms. It's not all black and white, people. I believe America can find a happy shade of gray between the absolutes of democracy and communism. Like Obama stated in his first speech as president-elect, America re-invents itself constantly. That's what makes it a great country.

It's time to start perfecting that union.


Jan said...

Hi, new here. :)

I grew up in a very small white-bread Midwestern village, raised by parents who were racist and intolerant. How I escaped their 'ideals' I'll never quite understand.

When the final candidates were announced, and I shared with my family that I would be voting for Obama, the dismay and scorn were palpable. But I didn't give up...I spent a lot of time trying to convince my parents, grandparents, and sister (who all ive in a different state than I) that Obama isn't the anti-Christ, and isn't a Muslim with a radical anti-American agenda (and defending his right to practice--or not--any religion he chooses).

In the end, I convinced four out of five. When my mom called to share the way they'd voted, I was stunned. Just goes to show you...yes, we CAN.

L said...

Yay, Jan!