An Open Letter to Obama Supporters
by Zach Roberts
Originally posted on my GNN blog
It pains me to say that I cannot vote with history. I will not be able to say to my children that I voted for the first Black president like many of you will. My vote is much too sacred to me to give to a man I cannot trust.
I will not be voting for Barack Obama or his opponent Republican John McCain. I frankly don't know who I'll be pulling the lever for.
History, hope and the buzzword 'change,' these are not reasons to vote for a president, especially not in a time such as now.
During his primary campaign Barack Obama claimed that he would listen to his supporters. He claimed that he would filibuster FISA and when the time came to fight, he didn't even show up. This was his moment to win me over. This was his High Noon in the capitol rotunda, but in this feature Gary Cooper didn't even show up.
At that moment, and many others throughout the campaign (NAFTA, ACORN etc.) I saw Obama for who he was, just another frightened politician who when given a moment to show his true colors exposed himself to be yellow. I'm tired of these leaders, Democrat and Republican. They play on real people's hopes and fears and use them for their own political ambition.
Obama has caught the moment, he'll win tomorrow, probably by a landslide. Our hope for a great leader, I guess is once again out-shined by the reality of good-enough. President Obama will continue the war in Afghanistan, continue NAFTA and CAFTA. All the while we will continue to kindly ask our dear great leader to listen to us. It will be a democracy, as we've had for decades, maybe a bit closer to our hopes but still mostly kept for our dreams.
Robert F. Kennedy was known to say of moral courage that is was "a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence." He also said that is was "the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which seeks most painfully to change."
Why are we still looking for this 40 years after Mr. Kennedy's death. I do not see this in Sen. Barack Obama. I do not see this in the men and women that he keeps around him. But I do see this courage for the first time in years in the eye's of a Democratic candidates supporters even though I do not count myself among them.
This gives me hope that my generation, the one born under Reagan, will be able to stop the mourning and build something new together.
On Nov. 5th when Sen. Obama becomes President-Elect Obama let's not let the movement stop. We must pick up where our leaders are lacking. We must become the hope and change that we dream of.
Let's make this next four years, as one of Bobby Kennedy's favorite books described the 60's - "one of those periods of hope and endeavor which now and again light up the dark passages of history."
Do not expect history to write itself.
Zach Roberts is a independent documentary film researcher/producer, who works with BBC journalist Greg Palast.