Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth, Y'all!

Happy Independence Day, Y’all! I hope everyone is planning something suitably celebratory that includes grilling, friends, family and fireworks.

It’s easy to forget that the day means more than that; I have to consciously stop myself to remember what it means to live in America. For all that our world reputation is tarnished, and our domestic picture is gloomy in a number of ways, that doesn’t take away from the basic premise: we live in a country where we always have the opportunity to make a change. So it gets bad. As citizens, we can make things change. Our system is set up so that can happen. Only a small percentage of the people in this world can say that.

The system is one half of the equation, the other half is us. As Pogo famously said, “we have met the enemy, and he is us.” We can expect the situation to be no better than we make it. No better than we demand of ourselves and our public servants. I think that’s why Barack Obama has struck such a nerve. He is asking us to be bigger than we are. Bigger than we have been in a long time. And I believe the American people are starved for that. We know we can be bigger than we are. But no one since JFK has asked that of us.

Obama is asking that of us. Hillary told us, with very good reason, that she would be a highly competent Chief Executive and I believe it’s true. But, she didn’t manage to tap the piece of our self-identity that aspires to live up to the ideals of our Founders.

Whether you’re a McCain fan or an Obama fan, I hope we’ll all ponder what we can do a little differently to be bigger citizens than we are.

And, have fun too!


Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Well said, Allison! I think the key word here is "we", as in "together", we can be bigger than we are.

- Margaret

WomenBloom said...

Yes, I agree. Someone at SXSW Interactive this year pointed out that Obama uses the language of 'we' while Hillary was 'I' as in, I can do this for you, that for you etc. I've not doubt she could but I think we are yearning for that 'we' thing.

Fortunately, the pendulum always swings back :)


Play Free Games said...

I agree with you allison . The word "we" make so much difference. We represent union and strength.