Before I say anything, I want to link to this endorsement for Barack Obama. This former editor of The National Review summarizes my feelings for Obama in a very real way.
I've never really been a politically involved person. It's just not something I care about. I've never voted (and I'm keeping the record going today, although this time I can honestly say that it's not entirely my fault...I'm in Chicago on business and didn't think to register for an absentee ballot). I believe that if you don't know what you're voting for, then you shouldn't be voting. And, every year, I tell myself I'll research the various candidates and propositions and make my own conclusions and vote. And, every year, none of that happens. Then, I'm forced to ask myself: "Am I qualified to vote? Do I want me making decisions that will affect the policies that govern me?" The answer is always no. And I don't feel bad about it. I don't complain about the decisions my government makes, because I don't deserve to.
At the same time, I do still have opinions, but I acknowledge that my opinions are meaningless. And, well, until now, my opinions had always leaned Republican. If I had voted four years ago, I would have voted for Bush. I'm not afraid to admit that I would fully regret that vote not long after, but that's who I would have voted for. On the other hand, part of the reason I didn't vote that year was that I couldn't really bring myself to do that. I couldn't vote for someone who I knew wasn't qualified to be the President of the United States. But, well, I still liked him more than Kerry.
And the reason I've always leaned Republican is quite simple. I'm a conservative. I'm all for hands off government. I don't really care about the environment (I'm a chemical engineer, for goodness sake). I'm religious, admittedly, a rather liberal Roman Catholic, but still religious. I'm a good consumer, in part actually because I believe it's important to be a good consumer.
As a young person with a decent paying job and effectively no real dependents or costs, I have very few needs from the government and I am not someone who benefits from any government programs, so why should I support them? Well, because it's the right thing to do (or, rather the left thing to do, but that's just me making stupid puns).
But, ever since I first heard about Barack Obama, I knew he was the person I wanted to be the next President. Truhfully, before I ever heard him say a single word, or heard any part of his campaign, I knew. To me, he represents something much, much more important than the Democratic Party. I don't care about his promises of change or his promises of reaching across aisles or anything like that. I don't care because they're not going to happen and I don't expect them to. Change doesn't happen. Aisles aren't reached across.
But things will get better all the same. They'll get better because we're going to have a leader that people love. I've never known an America that had that kind of leader. As far back as I can remember, we have been suspicious and cynical of the man who leads our country. I know it's part of being American, that distrust of the people we choose to lead us, but it's hard to live with that. It's hard to always feel like we're choosing between the lesser of two evils. And, for at least a little while, we're not going to have to feel that way.
We're going to have a president we love. We're going to have a president we think we might be able to trust. A president who wants the best for us. For this country. For the world.
And it feels good. It feels wonderful, really. I honestly want to get down on my knees and weep for joy. Weep, as my whole being is finally filled with hope. Weep in relief for my country. Weep as I contemplate just what it means to believe in my leader. Really, I just want to weep in thanks.
In thanks for the fact that Obama exists. That he came into the national consciousness at the time we needed him most. That he will be our Messiah. That he is actually capable of taking on these roles that we need from him. In thanks that I believe in him so blindly that I actually think, for even a moment, that he can fulfill those roles.
It feels so good.
That is all.