Why Obama Victory Left Me Teary-Eyed (and it's not about him Or McCain)

>> Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A repost from my previous blogsite:

You know, I never really followed this whole Obama-McCain brouhaha, but being a housewife has left me with so much time spent glued on the TV. Finally, at the last minute, I was bitten by the election bug.
When I woke up this morning, my first concern was to check who won the election. I was fortunate enough to watch Obama’s Victory Speech from the beginning. Some of you might disagree with me, but I was really moved by his speech, and I thought it all made sense. It wasn’t about who won over who, or who proved that the other one was a less powerful person, or who had more money for the campaign… It was all about UNITY. And realizations about my country, the Philippines, left me teary-eyed. (Yes, I do get affected by politics sometimes…  Back home, I used to read the newspaper from cover to cover and watch the news everyday.) I actually felt that his speech should be addressed to the Filipino people too. 

OBAMA: “This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. 
It can’t happen without you, without a new spirit of service, a new spirit of sacrifice. 
So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other.” 
We have a tendency to demand for instant changes. Somehow, people expect that change of leadership is always our only salvation.. But the truth is, change can never happen overnight. Yes, we proved in the pasttwice that change in leadership could, and did happen overnight.. but we proved over and over, and over again, that true change can never happen “if we go back to the way things were”. And we did go back to the way things were…. corruptions, political bickering,  power grabbing, destabilization of the government… and so on and so forth.  Truth be told, I don’t think we ever left this path. I agree with my uncle, Cardinal Rosales, that in order for our country to change, we should start by changing ourselves… our values… because our values dictate our actions and what we become as an individual, as a citizen, and as a country.

OBAMA: “There will be setbacks and false starts. There are many who won’t agree with every decision or policy I make as president. And we know the government can’t solve every problem. 
The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
Bravo! An acknowledgement that the government can’t solve each and every problem – and not empty promises…. a strong vision that victory will be achieved… an acknowledgement that it takes time to get up and rebuild the nation TOGETHER. A wake up call that it takes heaps of work, effort, and sacrifice to be able to climb up this pinnacle called CHANGE…  And I really pray that we all burst this enormous bubble of false hope that a single political action is the instant cure for all our country’s woes.
I have observed that in every problem we face, people, especially our politicians, scramble to point fingers at one another…. blaming and destroying each other. No one takes responsibility.
I would like to quote this line I first heard in our PSI Seminar… “When you point your finger at someone, remember, there are 3 fingers pointing back at you.” Maybe it’s time to take responsibility for our own actions, the same way that the person beside us, and everyone else in our country should.

OBAMA: “And to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote tonight, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I will be your president, too.
But I will always be honest with you about the challenges we face. I will listen to you, especially when we disagree. And, above all, I will ask you to join in the work of remaking this nation, the only way it’s been done in America for 221 years — block by block, brick by brick, calloused hand by calloused hand.”
I would love to post this on the doors of our politicians who get back at the people who didn’t support them in their candidacy.
One time, we travelled (I’m not gonna say where!) and had to cross different towns… We slept through concrete roads for hours, but were jolted out of our sleep by the sudden rough and bumpy dirt they call “road”. This went on for a while, and we were surprised that it led back to a smooth, concrete road. Apparently, the residents of the rough and bumpy area didn’t support the mayor during his candidacy, and the mayor was now getting his sweet little revenge.
This was a tiny town under the hands of a leader less powerful than those who are always on the papers.
This kind of power tripping has got to stop. 

OBAMA: A little bit earlier this evening, I received an extraordinarily gracious call from Senator McCain. 
Senator McCain fought long and hard in this campaign. And he’s fought even longer and harder for the country that he loves. He has endured sacrifices for America that most of us cannot begin to imagine. We are better off for the service rendered by this brave and selfless leader. 
I congratulate him; I congratulate Governor Palin for all that they’ve achieved. And I look forward to working with them to renew this nation’s promise in the months ahead.”
I dream of this for our country… where candidates concede to the winner in a gracious way. Where the winner acknowledges the defeated’s strengths and efforts, and extends his hand so they can work together for the nation. Why is it that many of our politicians never admit defeat, and often claim to be cheated on in the elections? It’s so hilarious that both parties are accusing each other of cheating.  If there’s one thing consistent in what they say, there had been “cheating”. By whose side, we can’t tell. Maybe by both sides, it’s just that one cheated better than the other?
If only nobody ever intended to cheat, then there won’t be cheating, right? And if there was honest to goodness “no cheating”, then there wouldn’t be any hullabaloo of throwing evidences against each other… right?? Or maybe… if one’s ego (or greed) isn’t too big, he or she can actually accept the fact that the other candidate won in his own right. Right? ;P

The “Land of Milk and Honey” is calling for, and working towards unity now… and we have been calling for unity in our country for so long. It should not be mistaken for “unity” in revolutions here and there. It should be about the Administration and the Opposition working together for our country’s sake, and not for their own pockets… not for power… not for saving their asses. Haven’t we had enough of this KISS-ASS, KICK-BUTT cycle? One moment they’re together, the next moment they’re destroying each other. Hello??? And here we are, waiting for the BIG CHANGE to fall on our laps.
We should all do our part to achieve our country’s victory. As with all goals, our heart should really be in it for us to succeed. Do we really love the Philippines? In our own simple way, we can create change by truly loving our country and by being the best Filipino citizens that we can be… and to continually strive to beat our own selves by “being better than our best”.
I look forward to the day when we can proudly set our flag on the pinnacle of change, and be able to say that we did it. That we, as one people and one country, have finally transcended.
Obama often said – “Yes we can!”…
I say, “Of course, TOGETHER we can”. 


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