To be blunt, each candidate now vying for the Democratic nomination has demonstrated levels of intelligence and thoughtfulness refreshing to anyone who thirsted for some shred of political acumen during these seven long years of Bush rule. The candidates have all expressed some good ideas, and frankly, there are sometimes more similarities to their policies, voting records, and campaign promises than there are differences.
"Change" has become the rallying cry raised by each of the candidates. And while I'm starved for it, I want even more. I want great leadership. And that is where Barack Obama comes in.
Politics is about policy, yes, but it's also about symbolism. Obama has come to symbolize what is possible for our nation if we're willing to reach for it. His campaign banner reads: "Change we can believe in!" He asks us to believe not just in his ability to bring about real change; he asks us to believe in ours. The people's response? A historic shake-up; white, rural voters in record numbers delivered a sweep in Iowa, a tie for delegates in New Hampshire, and a delegate win in Nevada. They dared to hope, and so should we.
Consider the message we can send. For two destructive terms our nation has been brazenly governed in a manner that reinforced, time and again, the very worst of the negative stereotypes that the world has about the United States. Our reputation in the international community is in tatters. Electing Obama would send a message to the world that couldn't be more timely; we choose interconnectedness over division; we choose diplomacy over brute force; we choose hope over despair.
This is a defining moment. Let us send our message loud and clear.
Blaine County's Democratic caucus is Feb. 5 at the Community Campus (Old Hailey High School). Anyone not inside by 7 p.m. cannot participate.