Short of yodeling, I’ve been doing my best Switzerland impersonation during the primaries. When it came my turn to vote in the primaries I voted my hopes, knowing I’d support whomever we got in the Democratic nominee. (Let’s face it. My values would never let me vote for a John McCain.)
Well, it’s pretty clear now what we’re going to get in a Democratic nominee, and I agree it’s time to move on. This has been a passionate race so far. One that has enlivened the progressive base, and the "maybe-kinda-sorta progressive" base, and the "we-just-want-to-win" base. Now that it’s rounding the bend (though only on the last lap of the qualifying round, mind you), there are bound to be people who are as disappointed as they were passionate about their candidate. I understand and respect that, and I’d say the same no matter who was all-but-the-nominee right now.
That said, it’s time to remember why so many of us were so passionate about one candidate or the other: We all want to see this country change course from the disastrous path we’ve been dragged along for the past seven-plus years. We all know that we can’t afford even four more years of the same. Not our for country, not for our communities, and not for our families.
We know that it matters who’s appointing Supreme Court Justices, and we know how much we could lose depending on who sits on that bench (and lots of other federally-appointed bench spots). We know that we can’t afford to foot the bill for four more years of conservative failure. Not our country, not our communities, and not our families.
We know that we don’t want our children, or our neighbors’ children, or our brothers’ and sisters’ children, and their children to have to pick up that tab. We know that they deserve to grow up in a world that’s reasonably safe, where they have a fair shot at "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness"; where they have a fair shot at a future. They deserve to inherit a country and a future founded on hope, not fear.
We know that we can’t afford four more years of disregard for the reality that we share this world with a lot of other people and that it matters how we are in the world. It matters because our choices, and choices and policies of our elected officials can hold potentially disastrous consequences for the planet itself, for our country, for our communities, and for our families; because what we inflict on the world, we inflict on our country, our communities, and our families.
That’s why we’ve cared so much about this race, no matter which candidate we’ve supported until now.
I remember when Bush was re-elected in 2004, many people swore they’d move to Canada. Most didn’t. My guess is that some of those who stayed believe most of what I’ve written above, and because of that they fought and worked to bring us to this point, where we have a real chance of changing course. Instead of being herded down one path by our fears, we are on the verge of being able to walk down a path towards our hopes.
But first we have take the wheel, and steer this country off the course plotted by fear.
Then, and only then, can we truly change course.
Maybe I’m a little naïve – maybe a dash of naiveté is a necessary ingredient of hope – but I think most of us know all of the above, and want to change our course because of what it means for our country, our communities, our families, and – really – the world.