Saturday, January 26, 2008

Caroline Kennedy Endorses Barack Obama

Over the years, I have met many people, both Democrats and Republicans, who have told me that they would have voted for John F. Kennedy if they had been alive (or of voting age) in 1960. In light of how close the presidential election of 1960 was, I can only suggest that this belief, especially on the part of the Republicans, may in part be a function of hindsight being 20/20 (John F. Kennedy is an icon and Richard Nixon is not the president with whom any Republican wants to be identified). However, I also think this is because of the enthusiasm that we have been told John F. Kennedy inspired in the young people of his day. We envy a time when people voted for a candidate because they believed in him, as opposed to voting for someone because you perceive them to be the lesser of two evils. We wish a person would come along who would inspire us in the same way, but we worry that such a thing isn't possible in our day and age, with the 24 hour news cycle, the increasing division between the right and the left, and the politics of personal destruction. If such a politician did come along, we know what the establishment would do to him or her--I mean, we all saw Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

I won't lie to you, it has been really hard being a supporter of Barack Obama. It has been frustrating having intelligent women tell me they are supporting someone else simply because of gender, but that they would be happy with whoever gets the nomination because I do care who wins the nomination and I am voting based on the person as a whole, not their gender or skin color. It has been hard seeing the misrepresentations, the distortions, and the outright lies which have been put forth because Democrats have been railing against dirty politics for the past eight years, and now, this is the sort of politics to which some of the candidates feel they must resort? But really, the biggest problem has been that I can't understand why people can't see what I can see and I find it difficult to articulate; like trying to describe a Monet painting to someone who has never seen a haystack or water lily, it is impossible to describe the beauty, the complexity, or the importance of what is right in front of us.

So, in light of all this, I am so grateful to Caroline Kennedy for writing this beautiful op-ed piece entitled A President Like My Father

I want a president who understands that his responsibility is to articulate a vision and encourage others to achieve it; who holds himself, and those around him, to the highest ethical standards; who appeals to the hopes of those who still believe in the American Dream, and those around the world who still believe in the American ideal; and who can lift our spirits, and make us believe again that our country needs every one of us to get involved.

I have never had a president who inspired me the way people tell me that my father inspired them. But for the first time, I believe I have found the man who could be that president — not just for me, but for a new generation of Americans.

So.

No matter what your political affiliation., all you people who have said you would vote for a candidate like John F. Kennedy if only you had a chance, you've got your chance. Please don't waste it.

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