Tonight my mom floored me. She said she wants to vote for Sarah Palin, because "that woman is a breath of fresh air." I actually feel in a kind of mourning.
The McCain/Palin ticket isn't a breath of fresh air. It's drumming up support by pounding the same platform of hatred the Republican party has relied upon the last 20 years: anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage, pro-war, pro-guns.
Barack Obama has gone out on a limb--you can read it in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention--to reach out to people on both sides of these divisive issues. He has tried to connect people, shining a light on the things we have in common, no matter how we stand on issues like this.
Everybody gets fired up about these issues because we have deep commitments to our moral codes, moral codes that we interpret in ways that give us very different perspectives on issues like abortion, gay marriage and sending people to war.
Republicans prosper when we hate each other for those different perspectives. Some Democrats prosper, too. But Obama is the first politician I have ever seen raising himself above the election-winning tactic of stirring up hatred.
He is a voice of love.
I don't know if I like Barack Obama. He is a cautious, career politician who is difficult to read, restrained, and unemotional. It's hard to love a man like that. But I believe that in these times--with terrorism on all our minds, with war and atrocity across the globe, with global economic devastation, with our own nation wracked by its own ideological schisms--that the only weapon we have is love. It is the only way we are going to fight through these perilous times.