Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Another great post on my travels.....


October 21, 2006

What is Hope?

Senator Barak Obama (D-IL), addressing the DNC in 2004, gave hope to so many of us as he reaffirmed the genius of America. He quoted these words from the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." And then he talked about the true genius of America: that these simple dreams let us put our children to bed at night, knowing they are free from harm. "That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door. That we can have an idea and start our own business without paying a bribe or hiring somebody's son. That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will he counted — or at least, most of the time."

He was speaking before a crowd who needed igniting, on a national podium, before a crucial election. Our nation stood at a turning point: the choices were the hammer of fear, or the glimmer of hope. And we chose fear. The end result of that choice is the Military Commissions Act of 2006 which turns bad policy into bad law. It strips away the very fundamental nature of our being, as Americans: that we will not be awakened in the middle of the night by a knock at the door for something we said, or wrote, or thought. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 means that any of us can be arrested and held without being charged - it strips away the meaning of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, and it shreds the First Amendment.

And still, still I have hope that this sleeping giant that has become the American People will wake up and say "NO MORE." We are less than 20 days before a mid-term election which actually means something. Traditionally voter turnout at mid-term elections is low. Yet I have hope that Americans will vote, and will vote for the truth, and for dignity, and for hope rather than for the hammer of fear.

Obama spoke about a common belief: A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work. It's what allows us to pursue our individual dreams, yet still come together as a single American family. "E pluribus unum." Out of many, one.

Still, the Republicans divide us, demonize us, hammer us with fear. The result of negative advertising is the voters lose. In an upcoming Cable Television ad, the Republicans are featuring the image and words of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and a warning to voters that "these are the stakes" in the November 7 election.

And tell me, please, how after six years of Republican leadership we are safer? Bin Laden remains at large, and Bush himself has said repeatedly that he's not concerned with Bin Laden. But the Republicans prey upon fear, and use it like a hammer.

I prefer hope. I prefer the path of dignity. I prefer the path of debate, discourse, disagreement and truth. I prefer the AUDACITY of hope. Obama said of the 2004 election that the choice was the choice of the politics of cynicism or the politics of hope. That holds true today, more than ever. We were a great nation, although flawed and capable of great mistakes. We can be again.

Dare to hope, and dare to not give up. Wake up!

Posted by Diva Jood in A Call to Arms


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