This I Believe

Amanda - Arlington, Virginia
Entered on February 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I grew up believing in America. I am a 24-year-old white female, who grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. I grew up with idealistic parents who now work for the U.S. Government. I went to Yale, where I was told I would grow up to be one of the future leaders of America. Like many in my generation, however, I have lost faith in my country.

That is what happens when “freedom” becomes the codename for a war, and when “democracy” (of the people) is forced on the people of other nations. My generation has grown used to the hollow din of our country’s once sacred words. That is why, in this election, I believe America doesn’t need to choose another a politician, or an “experienced” leader. We need a spiritual leader. A guide to remind us who we are, what we stand for, and how we can work to reach our fullest potential. The change part is up to us.

I believe this is an election about our collective future. This is not an election for individuals. This is not an election for older women who want to see a woman president, for Republicans or Democrats who want to advance their agenda. My generation’s struggle is beyond these things. We face terrorism, global warming, and private interest overriding public good everywhere from our health care to our economy. Our fight requires working together, across the artificial divisions that have been erected between nations, parties and people, to create an America worth believing in.

I believe Barack Obama is the only candidate that encompasses the hope for that sort of future. Let me be clear: Barack Obama is not the hope for America. Barack Obama inspires hope in America. He represents what we could, and should, be: a young, intelligent leader, who synthesizes both middle class America and the international world in his very being. He is proof that the immigrant story is possible, and that this country could have a voice that is worth listening to in the future.

So please, America, for once in your life, I believe you should listen to your children. We are the ones fighting this war. We are the ones that aren’t going to collect our social security. We are the ones that must face a world that is wholly hostile to us. We understand better than you do that this situation will not be changed by one person, especially a politician. But Barack Obama inspires the hope in us that can change it. And I believe that’s where we have to start.