October 31st, 2008

cap, captain miss america

My weekend

A little over four years ago, I heard Barack Obama speak for the first time. I was so impressed that I asked, "why are we running Kerry and not this dude? Who is this dude?"

A little over a year ago, I signed up to volunteer for Barack Obama's campaign for President after listening to him speak in Washington Square Park

A week ago, I got a thank you letter from his campaign, for supporting him even in the early days, essentially 'before it was cool.;

Tomorrow, I am going on the campaign trail for Barack Obama for the last days of his election. I have spent several hours a week making phone calls, going to phone banks, paying visits to undecided voters, and giving out cupcakes.

And I hope that in three months, I will be able to say that I love my President for the first time in many, many years.


1) Positivity. This is not a question of one campaign flinging mud or using shady tactics. This is a question, in my mind, of having a leader who tells us about the best we can be, about what we, as individuals can achieve, and what we, as a group, can build. So often, the messages we hear are bleak. But Barack Obama has been able to sustain a message of...yes, hope...even in the darkest hours. And no, having a message of hope isn't going to actually do anything on its own. You can't just pray and expect an answer. But optimism is the root of all ingenuity and progress. If you do not believe that something is possible, it will never become probable. I believe strongly that before you achieve anything, you must have a foundation on which to achieve.

2) Dignity. It breaks my heart when I realize that many of my younger friends have no faith in politics or in their leaders to make changes for the better, or to have their best interests in mind. It breaks my heart that we have moved past disrespecting the President as a man and moved into disrespecting the Presidency, as an office. I think that Barack Obama has the best opportunity to restore dignity to the Presidency.

3) Unity. Can any President unify an entire country? No. And I don't believe that Barack Obama will. But he will not stand for hatred directed at Americans who may look differently, believe differently, or love differently from the majority of us. He sees us as equals, just as the Declaration of Independence proclaims us to be, and the cornerstone of respectability is to first respect those around you.

4) Equality. This is a man who truly believes that our nation is judged by the welfare of our lowest common denominator. And that we do not get there by giving handouts, but by creating opportunity and by creating checks against those who would exploit that lowest common denominator.

5) Liberty. Across the board, from the question of abortion to gun rights, whenever a question pits morality against our civil liberties, Barack Obama sides with liberty.

7) Policy. I am not going to rehash so many things that you have probably heard over and over again, but if you are unsure about Senator Obama's policies, visit his website.

But most of all, it has been my own experience with his campaign. I have heard many people question his experience or ability to lead, but what better proof is there than this man can lead, can motivate people, and can make good management decisions to surround himself with people whose strengths will balance his. I have volunteered for many campaigns, and I have never been made to feel so valued by a Presidential campaign in my life. I have received invitations to sit in on conference calls on policy; I have been surveyed on my personal opinions about how to spend the money that I donated. I have been asked what issues to focus on, I have been consistently invited to take part in the political process in a way no campaign has done before. And to me, that is truly an empowering experience that cuts through the disenfranchisement of the past eight years.

This is possibly going to be my last comment on the election until Election Night (with the exception of posting more Sims, but I consider those nonpartisan in their lulz).
I encourage all of you to vote, and all of you to share your feelings on the election, regardless of what your feelings are. If you want to ask me questions, ask me questions. I believe strongly in the power of a single person to make a great difference. I am seeing the acknowledgment of that from a Presidential candidate for the first time in my life.