Tag Archives: hope

What a Democrat is…

I get some Republicans: they’re for lower taxes more deregulation and more states’ rights. That’s the traditional Republican thought process, and I get it. I don’t find fault with it (other than I think it’s wrong.)

But there’s another, more complicated process when one becomes a member of the GOP. They join the party because of the idea that the GOP supports “family values” – code word for anti-abortion, anti-gay, and, really anti-anything having to do with sex.

There’s also the traditional tags Republicans label the Democratic Party with. They call it the party of higher taxes. The “tax and spenders.” They say Democrats are “socialists.” The more extreme call the Democrats “baby killers.” The Democratic Party is the “party of the handout.”

Unfortunately for the GOP, the Democratic Party, at least the portion of it I belong to, are none of those things. For me, being a Democrat means looking forward. Being a Democrat means learning from past mistakes and trying new ideas, or repeating ideas that worked. Being a Democrat means trying to give everyone an equal chance at the elusive American Dream.

And more than ever, that (little “d”) democratic dream for America is needed more than ever now. Not to be Captain Obvious or anything, but this country is struggling. Heck, the whole world is struggling because of the problems in this nation.

And no one in this country is struggling more than average Jane and Joe. It’s Jane and Joe who get hurt the most from the $75 gas tank. They’re the ones who have to pull their kids from private school because they can’t afford the tuition anymore. They’re the ones who had to cancel next summer’s vacation because plane fare is just too much.

But they’re also the ones who get the economy going. They buy the midsize car, the PS3’s, and the flat-screen TV’s. They’re the ones who put the money into the economy. And they’ll be the one’s who will be helped under Obama’s tax policy.

See, at the end of the day, the Democratic Party isn’t about negativity and partisanship. Rather it’s about hopes and ideals. And that’s why I’m a Democrat. I hope that this country can once again be a “beacon of light” for the rest of the world. I’m about what could be, not what was.

And that’s why this campaign is where it’s at today with John McCain’s negative ads having very little bearing on the polls.

If one takes a good look at electoral history, when times are good (usually after a Democratic presidency), Americans say, “Hey, I want more. The Republican Party promises to lower my taxes. I’m voting Republican.”

Or, as it did during Bush-Gore, W painted himself as someone trustworthy, compassionate, and full of those “family values.” As a result, Bush barely lost to Gore in what should have been a Democratic landslide.

During this campaign, when times are awful and the GOP is on the ropes, what do we see? We see hatred. We hear words like “you can’t trust him” and “he’s a man of the streets.” We see a campaign based primarily on fear of the unknown.

This time, as in years past, the economy is trumping all negative advertising and this election is shaping up to be an historic landslide. The voters have said, “Enough! We’re voting for the future this time.” And that’s where I stand.

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What this election is really about

When John McCain and Barack Obama step onto the stage in Oxford, Mississippi on Sept. 26, they’ll argue about taxes, about the Iraq War, about whose health care plan is better, and who has the “experience to lead.”

But I want to argue that this election is about more than that. It IS about “change,” as Obama’s been arguing since the beginning and McCain has argued since the RNC. But this election is just as much about image at home and around the world.

When Barack Obama gave his acceptance speech at the DNC and was greeted by two- or three-minute standing ovation, my eyes teared up. I looked at him and saw a black man – something I didn’t think I’d ever see in a presidential election. I saw a man who’s better than the athletes that are flashed on the TV screen as “role models.” He’s better than the millionaire rappers who roll in the Hummers and rims and loud thumps.

He’s a magna cum laude from Harvard University. He’s someone who gave up millions in order to work on the streets as a community organizer. He’s someone who came from a father-less home and, by his bootstraps, made himself one of the two finalists for the most important job in the world.

But more than that, Obama represents something for the rest of the world. He represents an America that can be better than it has ever been to its neighbors. It can be the first major Western country to elect a black president, or prime minister. People around the world will look at the United States and say, “Even a black man can become president in the United States. That is a wonderful place of opportunity.”

Yes, I agree with Obama’s tax policies, his environmental policies, and his energy policies, but underlying all that support is my belief that an Obama presidency can give Americans something that’s been missing since, well, Franklin Roosevelt – that the future might not be such an awful thing full of despair and failure. I believe an Obama presidency will truly give us hope.

He gives me hope for a better future for our country. He gives me hope that this country can change for the better and that our great sins of the past can be overcome. He gives me hope that racism can truly become a thing of the past. He gives me hope that minorities and the underprivaledged of all colors will truly shoot to be the best. An Obama presidency will make me truly proud to be an American.

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