Sunday, November 2, 2008

BARACK OBAMA FOR PRESIDENT


So, it's probably not a huge shocker that we're pretty big fans of Barack Obama's candidacy for President, but I thought it might be nice to make it official. We're endorsing Barack Obama for President.

The decision to endorse Barack Obama for President has not been a difficult one for me at all. I have been a Barack supporter since before he officially began his campaign. Never for any concrete reason, other than that he seemed like a really cool guy. On a whim, my roommate and I attended the rally he held in Springfield, Illinois back in February of 2007 to announce his candidacy. I had never been colder or more exhausted than I was that morning. It was a frigid and windy morning, the ground was frozen and you could feel it suck the heat from your body. But it didn't matter; even back then, I was one of many in a giant crowd of supporters, a group of people who knew nothing about a man they trusted enough to run and represent their country. Even then, I felt a special connection to this man and his potential. There was something about him that spoke to me, something that I really liked. Who knew that crowd of a few thousand would turn into crowds of 30 and 100,000 people the following times I'd see Barack? His success was always expected and yet, it's still surprising.

It took me up until recently to figure out why, but I think i've got it. While I don't necessarily agree with all of his policies or the way he's handled some of the issues of the campaign, I'm also not entirely certain that matters so much in this election. That's because this election isn't merely a chance to decide between several candidates and a few ballot initiatives, it's a referendum on our way of life. It's a chance to stop and question how we do things now and begin to think about whether or not we should be doing them differently. It is not purely about the specificity of policies or political strategies, but about the more general cultural and social context those policies and strategies are framed within. It's about the possibility for change and the promise of hope. And that's because we've all had enough of not only the last eight years, but of maybe the last 50 or 100 or 200 years. We've reached a point in our history in which questioning and doubt seem natural and we're looking for politicians who can best articulate not only a vision for the future, but a sense of comfort surrounding that uncertain future. And for me, Barack Obama instills that vision and comfort quite well.

It's based fundementally on his image as a symbol for hope. There's no way I can explain it, but he is a man that instills hope. His speeches, his words, his way of life all speak to the notion that the future can be different and better. And rightly so. I don't want a President that I can do keg stands with; I don't want to be smarter or more interesting or a better person than the people who run and represent us. I want a President who is eloquent and wise, amicable and progressive, responsible and inspiring. Our political figures should be no less. Is it really that much to ask for an inspiring political figure?

Barack's slogans and messages of "hope" has been especially meaningful to me, personally, because the notion of hope is fundamental to my existence. That's because I wouldn't be here were it not for the hope my parents had in this country, a hope so persistent and seductive that they were willing to crawl, swim, and talk their way into this country at all costs. They did so purely on the abstract notion that this country could afford them, their families, and their children a better and more promising life. And that notion of hope-in one way or another- is what has brought many of our families here. There is something about these lands that makes it run rife with this infectious sense of possibility, it's what has kept us here and persuaded many more to join us. Hope, for me, is not merely a slogan, it's literally a way of life.

And somehow, Barack Obama has come to represent that notion of hope, the idea that one can overcome adversity and get an education, make a name for themselves, and have a positive, lasting impact on the people and places of this world. It is for this reason and with this hope that We endorse Barack Obama for President.

Vote, please.

Antonio Pacheco

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