Dear Birmingham logo

Thoughts from Election Day

11.6.2008 by André Natta · → 1 Comment

Read Offline:

There was in fact one other reason the site remained quiet since Tuesday afternoon. I was not going to share my vote with you. I agree with John Archibald that perhaps some things need to stay private or at least not mentioned at all. I did choose to vote, though I didn’t think it’s my place to let the world know who I voted for (or was planning to vote for).

Many still struggle with what this site is (friends included), but for The Terminal to be a true hub for Birmingham and the region, we need your thoughts added to the mix, not just me telling you what I think and you reacting to it all of the time. For those that think that the role of blogging can only be to stoke the proverbial fires that last sentence may be a shock to you.

Those that write these online journals do so to share what they wish with you. That choice may be photos, poems, stories or opinion. It’s up to us to provide the information and then you to determine if you’re going to read it. Perhaps we’ve become so accustomed to be told what to think and how that if someone asks you to do it on your own, you freak out.

That said, I’ve agreed to have my picture made for an article that asks people around the country to reflect on the question “Why did you vote for Barack Obama?” leading me to provide an extended explanation to you, the readers of Birmingham’s hub.

I’m not a fan of partisan politics – I still believe in being able to look at both sides of an issue and then determine which side I fall on. I blame the Marist Brothers at Mt. St. Michael Academy in The Bronx (GO Mount! Beat Hayes!) for that, so you can too.

So I stopped responding to friends online from both sides of our recent national debate that decided to use their freedom of speech to campaign for their candidates in both civil and uncivil ways. That may explain the lack of actual responding to Facebook notes to me in recent weeks. I watched the talking heads from both sides but eventually decided I hated listening to noise. I read, about things that I believed needed to be looked at for a successful future, particularly when it came to issues decidedly urban like mass transit, job creation and affordable housing. I thought about the fact that my parents were able to come to this country and work hard for everything they got for themselves and their two sons – yes, that played a role as well. Then I made a decision. 

I chose to believe in hopes and dreams. I chose to believe that one person does not have all of the answers, but that together we can solve issues. I chose to put my faith in our citizens and in the idea that we are our brother’s keeper.

What I now hope is that people can see beyond the rhetoric and continue to take ownership of their country, their city, their neighborhood and stop waiting for a savior. What we got during the campaign was two chances to see extraordinary men reach for and achieve different levels of the American Dream and one who was able to translate that dream into something that people want to achieve and believe in. We didn’t get a savior on Tuesday; we did elect the next President of the United States of America.

I know that when I have children and they ask me about that moment, I’ll be able to tell them that I wept like a baby because now I saw that night that anything is possible. I also saw that while we have a long way to go, that people just may be starting to look past the color of one’s skin to see the content of their character and it is that character that our country needs now more than ever instead of party loyalty and rhetoric, no matter what side of the aisle your beliefs.

It is now up to US (the United States) to help President-Elect Obama deliver what he promised, for the sake of our nation.

André Natta is the managing editor of The Terminal.

Read Offline:

Filed under: Commentary · Election '08

1 comments
Travis
Travis

I cried like a baby too. I have teared up everyday since just thinking about how much more loving of a country and world we have a chance to become. Tuesday night was the most beautiful moment I can remember. It made me feel like a child again. Like anything is possible.