Friday, October 24, 2008

Yes, We Can

I can’t fully explain how many thousands of times I have resisted the urge to post something about politics on this blog. The reason for choosing not to do so stems from the fact that the blog is about my life in South America, thus the title “Michelle’s South American Adventures.” It is not titled “Whatever Michelle Feels Like Ranting About Today.”

Yet about a week ago I posted two videos of Senator Barack Obama, United States of America Presidential Candidate for the Democratic Party. For those who have kept in touch with me throughout the last two years I have been in South America, it is no secret that I have voted for Senator Obama with my absentee ballot. While there are many policy reasons as to why I voted for Senator Obama instead of Senator John McCain or any other candidate, other reasons relate to my experience as an international volunteer. These two videos demonstrate such reasons.

A few points worth explaining a bit further:

My experience, if anything, has taught me that we are all one global community. Every person’s individual actions impact the life of every other person on the planet (the recent economic crisis in the U.S. and its impact on the world is one such example.) In the United States, we often forget this and live as if we are on an island (and the media encourages it.) I laugh when I remember that as a middle schooler I actually supported such an isolationist point of view. Today, however, as an educated adult, I understand that we cannot continue to live as such. We cannot continue to live as if we are on an island, living as if our daily actions and the actions of our government do not affect the rest of the world. Not only do we live beyond our means both economically and environmentally, but we consistently support policies that provide short-term rather than long-term benefits, thus hurting ourselves and everyone else in the process. Even more, our isolationist reputation has inhibited us from enacting some true good in the world. There is only one person that is running for President of the United States that has consistently portrayed the message of a global community and can significantly change the reputation of the United States, knowing this is not only for the good for all Americans, but for the good of the world. Senator Barack Obama.

My experience has also taught me that education is key to the success of any one person and to any one nation. Political Science majors know that a country’s duration of strength and power have consistently been linked to the quality of education its citizens receive. The education system is the key to the future of our country and to the progression of our world. There is only one Presidential candidate that promotes education reform in a way that allows all children, regardless of the background they have no control over, to have the best education possible. Senator Barack Obama.

One last thing I want to mention here is that my experience has taught me the power of people and their role in the government, particularly in determining their own quality of life. For citizens of the United States, this is often a very hard concept to grasp. Our local, state, and national governments are typically left to their own devices, in which the citizen feels its only power to change the government rests in the electoral process. Granted, the electoral process is by far the most effective way for the government to listen to its people. I have learned here, however, that it is not only in election time, or when a certain policy affects us personally, that we should keep our government accountable. The Chilean and Bolivian people have a spirit about them that their government is truly their government, and every day the government must prove to the people they are listening. Even more, citizens must feel that their government represents all of its citizens. There is only one person that is running for President of the United States that believes in the power of the people, encouraging all to get involved and take ownership of our society, and leading by example, takes to heart that he is representing all of the people of the United States. Senator Barack Obama.

At the beginning of the campaigns of both Presidential nominees, I was truly torn who to vote for. I do not belong to any political party (I say both parties left moderates like me a long time ago, particularly after September 11, 2001.) A long time fan of Senator John McCain and his “maverick” reputation, stepping away from party for the good of the citizens of the United States, I had at once thought that I was going to vote for him to be President of the United States. I certainly was not going to vote for a senator that had only been in office the last two years, despite reading and agreeing with most of his book “The Audacity of Hope.” Yet, as my time in South America grew and I began to see more and more the effects of the United States on this continent, I realized I needed to truly consider both candidates, to be an educated voter. After researching all domestic and foreign policy positions of both candidates, I made my decision. My decision was reinforced when I started to realize Senator McCain simply does not have the ability nor the priorities to enact the type of change we need in order to promote world progress and quality of life for all.

I love my country and I very much look forward to the day in which I can say I am an American without having to be ashamed of my government and explain I do not agree with its policies. I look forward to the day in which I can say to a non-United States citizen, yes, Americans do care for you and your quality of life, and my president, President Barack Obama, understands that we both play a role in the world too. Yes We Can get the world we want and deserve, and it is only my hope that the United States feels the same when it votes on November 4.

Representing a bit of the points below, I have attached the videos for your consideration. Of particular interest is the bottom video, in which Senator Barack Obama speaks Spanish: the only candidate that has a campaign add in Spanish, speaking the language the majority of U.S. citizens will speak by 2020. It is clear that this candidate not only understands the importance of all citizens becoming involved in the electoral process, but the importance of one global community.


At 10/25/2008 9:01 PM, Blogger sv said...



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