Big Opportunities, Big Change
Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama!
Barack Obama warned us that some would try to make this big election be about small things. My warning is that we don’t let this big opportunity only lead to small change.
More than 137 million voters cast ballots this election, up 14% from 2004. 63.7 million (56%) of those people voted for Barack Obama, giving him more votes than any candidate in the history of US Presidential Election history. That is what you call a mandate.
Being the candidate with more supporters than any other President has ever had, Obama has been given a chance to serve more people than anyone could imagine. He can impact the finances of millions of people. He can improve the health of hundreds of millions of people. He can increase the moral standing of a nation in the eyes of billions of people. What a great opportunity to carry out public service and set the tone for the spirit of shared service & shared sacrifice that he so eloquently espouses.
To whom much is given, much is required. (Luke 12:48)
The level of support and passion surrounding Barack Obama says more about the people supporting him than about Obama himself. It says that Obama is an inspirational figure, but that was evident before he started running for President. More importantly, it says that people are hungry. Hungry for change. Hungry for a new approach. Hungry for something to do. This is why Obama always talks about this election not being about him, but instead being about us.
With everybody so hungry, the onus is on the Obama team to give us something to eat. I don’t want a snack. I want a full, seven course meal. Legions of people do not organize for incremental change. Armies form to march forth into bold victory.
Now is our chance to make real, fundamental change in very progressive ways. This change will not happen because Barack Obama is a progressive. It can & will happen if we push our government, our newly-elected President, and, most importantly, ourselves to work towards the new kind of politics that Barack Obama helped us to believe was possible.
Let’s be bold. Let’s ask for a lot out of this administration. Let’s make Barack Obama a successful President by ensuring that he keeps his promise to start making big changes to the way America works. We helped him make history on November 4th. Let’s keep making history for the next 4 years.
One Love. One II.
P.S. Homework assignment: Everyone under 30 should talk to someone over 60 about what this election means to them.