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Politics & Power

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The “C” Word and Priorities (Revisited)

As those of you who read my last article know, I have been preliminarily diagnosed with cancer. During a CT scan my doctors found a small mass on one of my adrenal glands in my abdomen and follow-up testing came up “mildly positive” for cancer. I am in the process of doing the secondary testing to confirm the original test results but have little doubt about what those results will be. Currently I am trying to prepare both myself and my loved ones for the likelihood of a long course of treatment that could get rid of the cancer or could fail and I could die from the disease.

In my last article I wrote about the importance of electing Barack Obama to the presidency in my view. Some people have questioned my writing about the two things together and many have suggested that one has nothing to do with the other. So in order to clarify my thinking I will endeavor to explain my reasoning for discussing both topics at the same time as they are related in my mind.

My son is the product of a Caucasian man and an African-American woman coming together to have a child. He, like Obama, is a mixed ethnicity child. If Obama is elected he will have broken the glass ceiling for literally millions of people just like my son. If I am to leave this world behind, I would like to go to my grave knowing that my son will be less likely to be marginalized for being born with darker skin and kinkier hair than white kids have. This election is not just about whether Democrats or Republicans control the White House and Congress. This election is a measuring stick of how far we have come as a nation in our ability to see beyond race when choosing our leaders.

While I have some respect for John McCain on some levels I also understand that he comes from a mindset of the past where war is an acceptable substitution for diplomacy when opposing parties become entrenched in their positions. His ideas on international relations come down to “You’re either for us or against us.” when diplomacy is in fact never that simple. We as a nation cannot afford to regress into a Cold War mentality in our foreign relations. The hawks need to be sent out of Washington and intelligent debate needs to replace reactionary posturing in our dealings with the world. It is clear from his recent statements about war and international relations that John McCain leans toward the old mindset of shooting first and asking questions later. While this may be a good mindset for a soldier in a war zone, it is not a good mindset for the President of the United States.

Barack Obama not only represents hope for millions of non-Caucasian people to rise above their historic boundaries, but for lasting peace between the U.S. and the rest of the world. His approach of diplomacy first represents the mindset that is needed to rebuild America’s positive image around the globe. He has stated a willingness to talk with even our enemies to try to find peaceful solutions to the differences between our nations. That willingness to talk first and use military force only as a last resort is what we desperately need if our children are to have a future not filled with war and death.

So as I look at my own mortality and think about the world I leave behind for my son, I can see that it is vitally important that we elect the right man not just for today but for the future of America. If we are to ever achieve a world where war is obsolete, we will need to find ways to settle our differences without resorting to violent conflict. That means we will have to begin talking. The posturing and saber rattling of the hawks in Washington will not achieve that goal. It is time to put aside the rhetoric of the past and to begin to embrace new ideas about our role in the world and what effective diplomacy means.

It is my belief that the right man to lead us into this new era of change is Barack Obama. His ideas represent real positive change in a time when we are desperately in need of such change. His passion inspires people both young and old to strive for a better America. He is the right man for our time and the one man who can bring our nation together in a way that we have never been able to come together before. Unless we find ways to break down stereotypes and put a new face on what it means to be a diverse nation, we will be doomed to destroying ourselves through fractionalization and an enclave mentality. We can no longer afford to divide ourselves along color lines. It is time to look to the future and begin to accept that women and people of color can be effective leaders. The first step to making that a reality is to elect Barack Obama the next President of the United States not simply because he is of African descent but because he is the best person we can choose to lead us in these troubled times.

Troy Wilson-Ripsom - Staff Writer | Give your feedback on this article. | Click icon to Digg this article

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