I generally abhor politics. Partisanship makes me want to puke. I watch our elected officials towing the party line and wonder when it was they actually stopped being able to think for themselves. Why can’t they answer questions put to them without resorting to talking points (which may or may not have anything to do with the question)? Why do they think the only way to my vote is through smear tactics and fear mongering? When did leadership become so divisive?
Don’t they know that communities as small as a hometown or as large as the entire world contain multitudes of worthy voices – the voices of people who work hard, and have values, and truly want what’s best for their families and even for humanity? That it’s not, and it can’t ever be, “us versus them” – not really? That there is no “them?”
Barack Obama knows. He doesn’t try to reduce world politics, or global crises, or human interaction to managable-sound-byte, black-and-white, us-vs-them polemics. He addresses issues with the complexity and nuance that they demand. He doesn’t dumb down policy or attempt to polarize opinion because he thinks that’s all the American people are smart enough to get behind. He treats us and the topics of our time with the respect we all deserve. He knows that true leadership is about building consensus among diverse groups in order to build pathways towards common goals – not shaping opinion by tearing down your opponents. He believes that leaders create instead of destroy.
I cannot tell you how thrilled I am that we have elected him President of the United States. How deeply I believe that this man is destined for greatness. He will heal relationships at home and abroad because he starts from a place that so many politicians seem to have forgotten – respect. If you haven’t already heard it, take a few minutes to listen to his acceptance speech from last night. It’s inspiring.
Inspiration. The starting point for so many things we hold dear – art, religion, relationships, innovation, invention, science, scholarship, learning, athletics, hard work, starting a family. It’s about time it made its way back into politics.