What this election is about

The recent announcement that the Christian Science Monitor will forgo their print publication in favor of online only rekindled my love for the publication, which began by falling in love with their building in Boston as a teenager.  Don’t ask how those two things go together, but in my mind one led directly to the other.

Anyway, in perusing their site I came across an article by Jonathan Curley, a southern conservative banker who voted for the Bush family three times in the last two decades.  As he describes himself it’s clear that he is not exactly Sen. Barack Obama’s target voter and yet, at his wife’s insistence he spent a Sunday afternoon canvassing for the Illinois Senator.  Here is what he learned:

I learned in just those three hours that this election is not about what we think of as the “big things.”

It’s not about taxes. I’m pretty sure mine are going to go up no matter who is elected.

It’s not about foreign policy. I think we’ll figure out a way to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan no matter which party controls the White House, mostly because the people who live there don’t want us there anymore.

I don’t see either of the candidates as having all the answers.

I’ve learned that this election is about the heart of America. It’s about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten. It’s about those who have worked all their lives and never fully realized the promise of America, but see that promise for their grandchildren in Barack Obama. The poor see a chance, when they often have few. I saw hope in the eyes and faces in those doorways.

My wife and I went out last weekend to knock on more doors. But this time, not because it was her idea. I don’t know what it’s going to do for the Obama campaign, but it’s doing a lot for me.

And that is why, more than anything else, why I voted for Obama.  Not because I’ve drank the Kool-Aid, as so many derisively say.  But because when it comes down to it voting for McCain is like deciding to leave your car in neutral.  The country is probably going to idle for another four years.  Sure, you might roll down the hill at some point, but chances are you’re more likely to just stay in place.  At least with Obama it’s like putting the car in drive – sure you may crash at some point, but you’ve got to take the shot.

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