My friends will tell you that after working for a Congresswoman and having seen the inner workings of a political office, I was so turned off that I had nothing to do with politics or politicians. The spectacle of the last 7 years under the current president and the inability of the new democratic majority in the house to bring about any meaningful changes, only underscored my feelings that regardless of who occupied the White House, the rest of us were doomed to be little more than a convenient pool of powerless, nondescript automatons, with the sole responsibility of keeping the republic afloat through our hard work and adherence to the laws.
Patriotism I decided was something preached by corporations through public service ads to appease the masses, even as they shipped jobs overseas and closed factory doors and politicians nothing more than sycophants who benefited from the connections they made in office. All that changed when Senator Obama entered the race.
At first my perception of him was very cynical, but then encouraged by friends I started reading about and finally listening to him and as I did I could feel the cynicism giving way to something that felt like excitement.
Here was someone who was actually acknowledging the fact that he was talking to real people and using words like “we” and “together” and “change.” The real decision maker for me, however, was when he said he did not take money from lobbyists. As someone is originally from the Caribbean and having seen what Bill Clinton along with his lobbyists from Chiquita and Dole did to the banana dependent economies of the small Caribbean states, I knew Senator Obama was someone I could throw my full support behind, because under his watch and with his respect and understanding of other countries and their cultures, I am convinced something like that would have never happened.
I believe he is a good man, I believe he is a decent man, I believe he can do a great deal to respect the regard with which this country was once held in the international community, but most importantly I once again believe.