I cannot tell a lie: I was not always a supporter of Barack Obama, our new president elect. Early on in what has proven to be one of the longest presidential campaigns in American history, I didn’t think a candidate could run on a platform of hope. I argued that “hope” contained little content; it was simply a word attempting to capture a feeling.
Well, as I watched our nation elect Barack Obama last night, I was awed by the efficacy of his words. I would be remiss to not mention that as his campaign wore on, Obama added content to round out his platforms of “change” and “hope.” He put forward ideas that are substantive and responsive to the crises of the American people.
Obama has a remarkable ability to use words to encapsulate a swell of emotion. Just think of his inspirational rallying call, “Yes We Can.” Is the populace hungry for words, or are they hungry for passion? And can those two desires run concurrently and successfully?
Other words were tossed around during this campaign: elite, terrorist, socialist, Marxist, communist. Watching Barack Obama become our president elect gives me hope that the populace actually listened to what was being said. Our nation takes its citizenship and civic duty seriously, and that, to me, seems like change.
Within the Riggio: Writing and Democracy Program, we are confronted with varying interpretations of the word democracy, and it is often said that writing in itself is a political act. It has been said that today, half of the country will wake up disappointed. But I would argue that as Americans, we can find common ground in the execution of choice that took place yesterday. The American people listened, processed, and exercised their freedom, and that is an edifying end to this election. It’s a success for everyone, and even those who today find themselves disappointed, can attempt to find hope in that.