I read about 7 newspapers every morning, but only for the sports pages. When it is time for me to watch the news, I watch ESPNews. When I talk to someone about the current events of the days, we talk about the latest game or trade, or the latest on Roger Clemens (which should shape up for a wild week at Congress, but that is for another column). But not this week.
I voted in the Presidential Election in 2004 and have voted a couple of other times as well, but I didn’t really get into it. Something has changed in me. Maybe I’m getting older and this is what old people do: watch CNN. Maybe it is because my sports teams are terrible (don’t get me started on OSU basketball) and I need something to pay attention to. But I think that it is something else.
Barack Obama. He inspires me. He encourages me. He challenges me. Dare I even say it, he changes me. My TV watching is just one thing that change. More importantly, my hope has changed. I have hope that if Barack Obama is President then politics will change. They already have. Because of his leadership, this has been one of the least ugly presidential campaigns and will continue to be. He has pledged to have integrity even if it means less votes, because it is the right thing to do. While he is a democrat, his focus is not on being a traditional democrat with vested interest in the party’s position because that is what he is supposed to say, but he is guided by what he believes is best for America. He is constantly reminding us that we are not the red states of America or the blue states of America, but the United States of America.
He believes in hope. He said that “Hope is not blind optimism.” It’s not just him writing checks with his mouth that his presidency can’t cash, but he does have plans for this country, and a lot of it depends on us moving forward for America. He also said that, “Nothing worthwhile in this country has ever happened, unless somebody has been willing to hope.” So, I believe in Obama, because he believes in us to make us the best USA that we can be. Sometimes in life, we just need someone to encourage us along the journey, to give us hope that what we are doing is worth it. I hope I can do that as a Preacher, and I believe Obama can do that as a President.