Friday, October 31, 2008

Speaking Unity vrs. Fearmongering

Perhaps the most telling part of the campaign for President this year is the contrast between Obama's emphasis for hope, and the McCain campaign's continuing Bush Doctrine 2.5 of demonizing the enemy. Attacking what a candidate says is really fair game. And that isn't necessarily preying on people's fears. However, when you try to raise questions about someone's love of our country, their patriotism, their past associations, question their devotion to their religion, their family, or any other related item, it shows that a candidate has no ideas, only complaints.

Our country is at a cross-roads. The precipitous decline of our Republic under a Republican President is traumatic for all Americans. After the events of 9/11, most of us Americans, including Democrats put our country first and our party affiliation second. And we paid a price by allowing an out of control executive to seize powers and set precedents that were unhealthy for our Republic. And rather than unite us, this President took us to war against a country that hadn't attacked us, under false pretenses. And when people questioned this dangerous precedent, they were labelled as unpatriotic and smeared by the best propaganda network money can buy.

It isn't any wonder, that when these tactics are used now, they only seem to resonate with those who are innately fearful themselves. FDR, when our nation faced even more dangerous crises reassured the country by saying, "there is nothing to fear but fear itself." Obama takes a similar stand, that hope, combined with carefully crafted policies can turn things around.

We as a nation, can descend into despond, and we can find plenty of demons to be fearful of. We can find scapegoats galore, both internal and external that we can blame our decline upon. Fear can drive us to retrench from our role as a force of optimism and ideas in this ever changing world. But we can also decide, that we are not done yet. The promise our founders gave us, is but a shadow of what we can be in the next hundred years as a force for good in our world. Part of taking that role, is to admit our miscues, and to rebuild bridges and trust with other nations and their citizens. Obama is the only one who can do that who currently has a chance of winning.

And to us Democrats, should Obama win, let's vow to never give him the blank check Republicans and some Democrats gave his predecessor. Let's ensure that he conducts his government competently and with the transparency and oversight any effective government must have to succeed. Our role as citizens doesn't end after November 4. Our contribution to this Republic must be constant and vigilant. So whoever wins, you can be sure I won't be silent. Even being called unpatriotic didn't shut me up before. And it won't work any time soon.

1 comment:

Urban Koda said...

Spoken like a true American. Thanks Obi, you personify for me the kind of citizen that I hope I can become.