Monday, October 20, 2008

I Became Part Of History Today

I voted today. I opened my absentee ballot, filled it out, signed my name, put a stamp on it and then I cried. The emotion of casting such a history making vote opened up something in me, a feeling that I'd shut down in the 60's with the assassination of JFK when I was twelve, and followed by the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert Kennedy. Politics from that point on became an act of voting against someone more than it was an act of voting for someone.

My vote for Obama was based on many things, the primary one being my belief that the President is more a symbol than an action. He or she, as we came close to being able to say, represents the face America presents to the world. Congress is what creates the America we live in, and the President is the person who carries the will of the people to the world.

In the last eight years we've had as a symbol a man whose intellectual capacity was limited to comic book heroics and grade B movie acting. His face is what the rest of the world saw when they saw us, no matter how horrible that seems. And it was reinforced by a Congress so bought and paid for by corporate lobbyists they had no room left to legislate for the American people. And the American people under eight years of a brutal thug and his henchmen, had no will to fight back and demand equal representation.

As I was growing up I read about countries whose people were beaten down by the horrible circumstances of their existence and by the complete intrusion of the government into their miserable lives. I read about people in countries who were afraid of the police, who cynically understood everything on the television, radio and in the newspapers was carefully orchestrated propaganda by a government who didn't care if you believed it or not. It was the party line and there was no coloring outside of it.

Under the Bush regime I watched the number of poor increase as the number of wealthy grew even wealthier. I watched the middle class become the servant class. I watched the poor become the homeless. I watched religious fanaticism and dogmatism take the place of liberty and intellectual discourse. I watched a love of ignorance, a joy in stupidity, a disdain of intelligence take over the country like a well-designed plague. And I watched a government terrorize and spy on its own people. I watched people disappear into prison camps never to be heard from again. I watched America go from a country admired the world over to one hated for its warmongering stupidity. I saw America become a country that  the rest of the world saw as one of ignorant, warmongering savages oppressed and controlled by their own government.

That is why Obama is such an important symbol. He makes America once again the leader of new ideas, new dreams, new visions. He makes America once again be the country where we are one people presenting a uniquely American face to the world. Once more people can point to this country and say in America anyone can grow up to be President, no matter the color of his skin. Once more people can point to this country and say this is what freedom is all about, this is what Democracy means. Once more people can point to America and say when a government is bad and does not honor its people, they vote them out and replace them with one that will honor the traditions this country was based on, the visions that created it, the courageous who dared to act upon their dreams.

Barack Obama is a symbol, true. But he is also a symbol of something far more important. He represents a shift back to America as a land of human beings instead of mean and fearful little creatures to be manipulated for political gain. Those who are casting their ballots for him are also saying it's time for America to return to its roots, to transform the cruel existence forced on it by Corporate rule and once again become a government of the people, by the people and for the people.

The Republican lie that was spread through bought and paid for stooges and blackmailed weak-willed patsies was that Liberal was a bad word, that Progressive was a bad word, that Democrat was a bad word. The lie was spread at the same time the myth of Republicanism was portrayed as responsible, grown-up and sensible as compared to the upstarts that dared to have a say in how their lives were run, who dared to care about the poor, the elderly, and who valued education and conversation that was meant to share knowledge instead of defame it.

Hate became the drug mainlined into the bottom layer of society so it could spread up and infect everyone. But to control someone with hate, you have to give them someone to hate. So the puppetmasters created bad Liberals, Arabs, dark-skinned scary people. And because the groups were so completely separated by ideology, skin color, religious beliefs, one group was blissfully unaware of the other group steadily losing all their rights, all their freedoms, all their democratic right to exist side by side with the other groups.

It is an old tactic used by every dictator throughout time, by every totalitarian regime and banana republic that cares nothing about human beings but everything about money and power. And this time it was inflicted on America and Americans opened the doors to their homes and welcomed it in willingly.

But the greedy went too far this time. They stole too much. They let too many crazies out of the box. They became drunk on power and believed their own mythology. They forgot, if they ever bothered to learn, that they were falling into the same trap that brought down every corrupt government throughout time who believed the same thing.

And that's why I cried today, because with so many people voting for Obama, it isn't really about race. It isn't really about the color of his skin. It is about taking back our country and that's why I cried. People woke up and are continuing to wake up and that's what it takes to sweep the last of the old guard out the miserable doors they built for the rest of us.

It's time to present a new face to the world, one of a people united in a common dream that decency, respect, intellectual discourse, and taking care of each other matters because we are all children of the same mother. Only in this way do we once again become the golden land that the rest of the world admired and strived to become.

But please don't get complacent. You MUST show up at the polls because once and for all we must stop these corrupt corporate sleaze bags from defiling our elections as if we were some forsaken banana republic. Only huge numbers will keep them from stealing it. Only huge numbers of people casting the most history making vote in history will take our country back. VOTE! It's far too important to leave it up to the other guy. This time we are all the other guy.

Click on image to purchase tile and other items with this design from the Voted For Obama shop.

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