Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finally, some election thoughts...


Last Tuesday, I woke up at 4:30 am to help finish the job that had been started some two years ago. The campaign was looking up, everyone at Drury's election headquarters was in bright spirits, and we campaigned from before dawn until after dusk with smiles on our faces. We plastered the campus with posters, knocked (several times) on every residential door on Drury's campus, called every student, set up tables with voting information, and even drove people to the poles. Finally, at seven (when the poles close in MO), we all traveled to the poles and hung out to try and create a comfortable, friendly environment for those waiting in lines to vote. Obama's campaign had set up a great final get out the vote effort that flowed seamlessly (be it known there was lots of training involved beforehand). It was beautiful.

Then we all went back to a friend's house, had a few well-earned beers, and watched election coverage. Though in the end we lost Missouri (a big blow to those of us who put our hearts and souls into this place), we won the country. By a lot. It was a night to remember. There were lots of tears (I'm no exception) when Obama gave his acceptance speech, which I'm sure will go down in the history books. It was a fantastic event. I couldn't have put it better than a friend of mine who said something like, "It felt like the world let out a deep sigh of relief that night, like suddenly the tension was gone and things could start to look up."

But we all know that. We were all there, and we all heard the speech either live or on youtube the next day. So why bother re-hashing it a week later? What's the point? My friends, the point is this: The battle is not over.

Let me remind you all of a few words spoken by a historic man:
"Reaching these goals will require the broad support of Americans, so today I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."
-George Bush, Nov. 3 2004

Obama used similar words last week. He's talked about lots of changes he wishes to bring about and has had a long rhetorical strategy of hope which helped him win over generations of voters. When he came to Springfield two weeks ago, he said, "The winds of righteousness are at our backs!" While that may be, words like those worry me. There has been an unprecedented amount of propaganda from the Obama campaign with no real message of substance aside from "Hope." While I have researched and agree with Obama on a majority of his issues, even those of us who agree with him and like him must force ourselves to watch his every move as if he's Bush, I fear.

It's nothing personal against the man, but our government requires us to remain active long after elections are over. We must remain aware of what's going on at all levels, we must become educated, we must ensure that nobody is pulling the wool over our eyes. Obama has created an air of security and trust between himself and us, his constituents. But remember, we elected him our president and not our friend. As such, we have a responsibility to resist him at times, to be constantly vigilant towards him, and always always ALWAYS be aware of what he's doing.

We put him there, now let's make sure he really does the things he promised us that he would.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

My mother worked as a volunteer driver to take newly registered voters to the polls. She drove one elderljavascript:void(0);
Hide Original Posty man who said he had registered for the first time ever so he could cast his vote for "Mr. Obama."

In my admittedly cynical opinion, Bush never had any intention of working with the American people to make the nation better for them. He as working for himself and his wealthy base from the get-go. So while we do need to pay attention, I don't think it is going to require paranoia on our parts for the next four years. I think he bigger issue will be not lapsing into complacency as we did with Clinton.

BlackenedBoy said...

My good sir, this is a very wise (and rarely heard) assessment of Mr. Obama.

I personally think that he will be fantastic, but you are absolutely correct in saying that we must never allow him to rest on his laurels.

As President, we need to hold him accountable the way we would anyone else. The devotion that millions of people have to this man could be funneled into a great thing if he is just and governs intelligently, which, once again, I think he will.

However, such the popular support he enjoys has the potential to be abused, something that we as citizens must ensure does not happen.

His idea of a civilian force aside the military, for example, is a bit unnerving to me.

You're very smart.

BlackenedBoy said...

My good sir, this is a very wise (and rarely heard) assessment of Mr. Obama.

I personally think that he will be fantastic, but you are absolutely correct in saying that we must never allow him to rest on his laurels.

We need to hold this president accountable as we would any other. The devotion that millions of people have to this man could be funneled into a great thing if he is just and governs intelligently, which, once again, I think he will.

However, the popular support he enjoys has the potential to be abused, something that we as citizens must ensure does not happen.

His idea of a civilian force aside the military, for example, is a bit unnerving to me.

You're very smart.

I'll be checking in regularly.