Day 10 | Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Will.
When I was a little girl, I remember both my father and my grandmother being extremely involved in politics. My father loved to talk about it, while my grandmother marched, picketed, and canvassed for the Democratic Party. When I was probably 5 years old, I was hanging out with local candidates and their families. Having dinner with people whose importance I could not yet understand. As I grew up, I began to resent politics because I saw the divide it caused, not just in my own family, but in our nation as a whole. I became cynical and jaded as Clinton and Bush became constant topics at the dinner table.
When I turned 18 in October of 2008, my father came to me to remind me that “we vote democratic.” I rolled my eyes, walked out of the room and decided that I was going to make my own choices. I spent the next few weeks hidden away in my room, covertly researching the candidates, really digging into what they believed in, who they were, and what they planned to do for our country. I didn’t want to just follow my familial path down the left side of the ballot.
What my research proved to me was that Barack Obama was the candidate our nation needed. He was the president that America deserved. Flash forward 8 years to tonight as I sit and watch that president that I helped elect give his farewell address. As he stated, I, as a citizen of the United States, helped to change the world over these last 8 years, and I truly believe that.
Unlike the current president-elect, President Obama did not campaign by spewing unreasonable promises, or by alienating part of the population. He may not have accomplished everything he set out to accomplish 8 years ago, but that does not mean that his presidency was a failure. I, and I hope all of you, can see the changes he made in a number of ways. The legalization of gay marriage, or as I like to call it, marriage. Global commitment to the prevention of climate change. Access to affordable health care for over 20 million Americans who otherwise would have gone without. Economic growth after the recession and the lowest unemployment rates in 10 years. And those are just the most visible changes.
I may not have been happy with the results of this election, but after tonight, I vow to listen to this president that I care about so deeply and try to help unify this country that I love. After all, “change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.”