Today we've elected a new President of the United States of America and the tides of change are upon us. After listening to Barack Obama's acceptance speech last night I was touched and inspired by new possibilities. I couldn't remember ever having such a good feeling after an election in my entire lifetime. I was elated at this victory and hopeful.
I witnessed plentiful tears in the eyes of the people in the crowd cheering him on in Chicago last night. I caught a glimpse of Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey in the crowd with a look of astonishment in their eyes. To have finally elected a black man to the White House was an achievement few of us thought possible in our lifetime. Tonight I was proud to stand here as an American and sing with them, “Yes, we can.”
Obama gave thanks to his supporters and friends. He acknowledged McCain as a great leader who’d sacrificed much for his country. He pledged to “renew this nations promise” and open doors of opportunity. He recognized the youth for their enormous activism and for rejecting the myth of apathy. He told the story of a 106 year old woman from Atlanta who’d cast her ballot and lived through so much change in her lifetime. He said our “destiny is shared with the world”.
This is the first time I’ve voted in a Presidential election since 1972. I didn't pay much attention to 21 months of campaign rhetoric and media commentary. I knew intuitively though this was an important turning event for the country and the world.
I was confident Mr. Obama would get elected if indeed we could have a fair and honest election. Of course I don’t really know if my vote was counted or shredded given the evidence of vote manipulation and fraud. Apparently on this occasion the will of the people prevailed. In my opinion the better of two men got elected.
TRANSFORMATION AND SHIFT
In the long distant past I got disillusioned by the electoral process when McGovern was defeated by Nixon in 1972. Of all the Presidents I liked Jimmy Carter the best. At least he saw the necessity of funding renewable energy projects during his term. I’d seen Clinton speak on the campaign trail in Oregon, but got disillusioned later on after his mishandling of Waco, the Oklahoma City bombing and signing off on the anti-terrorist laws which have been disastrous for our civil liberties (particularly rewriting the habeas corpus laws).
The Bush years were disastrous for the country. No further attention will be given them except to unravel and correct the damage done.
Now this is an opportunity for a shift in consciousness, to move beyond the despair, cynicism and jadedness many of us have felt for decades. Having been a political prisoner incarcerated for advocating accountability in government and sovereignty for all the people, this election was a healing for me - an opportunity to step away from the past and move into the future with a fresh viewpoint while “reality asserts inself.”
As of today I’m willing to turn over a new leaf and re-pledge my efforts, not to the political process or what government can do for us, but what I and this local community can do for yourselves so we are no longer reliant and dependent upon others to run our lives (food, water, energy, shelter, etc.).
In my opinion, regardless of what the federal government does over the next four years from the top-down, it's still essential each of us takes complete responsibility for building our own self-reliant, local community infrastructure in all areas of our lives. So let's dig in, get to know each other and work together. That's what the Ashland Resource Center was designed for!
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