Here's to Hoping….
I will not fulfill my duty as an objective reporter at the upcoming Democratic National Convention in Denver. I go as an observer, as an American, like so many Americans throughout the country, who has been inspired and encouraged by Barack Obama's platform of hope. I am aware of the dangers that lay in such a platform; a presidential candidacy cannot be built solely atop a noun, just as a war cannot be fought against a noun.
But let us not discredit Obama's call to the audacity of hope. In his candidacy thus far, he has made American politics better. He has restored a sense of involvement and excitement that for many, Democrats especially, was lost in politics on the morning of June 5, 1968, with the assassination of Robert Kennedy. Obama's candidacy has already extended past our shores. In Berlin, he stood before the biggest crowd of his entire campaign, not far from where the Berlin wall once divided a city. "The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand," he said. "The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand."
We live in an age of separation, an era of walls. And in such a time, hope, though only a noun, is a very powerful one. Hope has inspired more Americans to vote in the Democratic primaries than ever before, it has already begun the not-so-long-ago futile task of tearing down walls – between nations, religions, parties and people. It is my own sense of hope that draws me to this Convention. My hope for the audacity of hope.
McCain has zeroed in on Obama's celebrity, equating him with America's most superficial tastes and interests. But isn't that what we need in American politics? A candidate who can mobilize the masses into political action and interest? Our founding notion of democracy depends on such involvement from the people. Politics have reached an age of public un-involvement, and it has failed us. The public majority has disowned our most recent administration, with a simple disclaimer: "We didn't vote for him." But that is at the very core of a democracy. In principle, this is a government by and for the people. We sacrifice that privilege by not going to the polls, but more importantly we fail democracy, we fail this country's founding doctrine.
Honestly, I don't fault the American public. I acknowledge the seeming futility of mounting any sort of excitement for any politician in my lifetime thus far. For decades, far too many Americans have sat at home, frustrated, or unable or unwilling to choose between two, white-haired, white-skinned, talking heads. And I can't blame any one of them.
This is at the crux of Barack's call to the audacity of hope; an audacity of restored faith in American politics; a celebrity, that however superficial, is paramount to the success of our political system: public involvement. A candidate that is truly, we hope, for and by the people. That said, over this coming week, Obama will officially receive the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. Only time will tell, whether this celebrity is worthy of our hope.