On Tuesday, November 4th, America has the greatest opportunity history has lain at her feet. It is to make a statement to the entire planet that it will either remain a part of an antiquated, out-of-touch and narrow scope view of the world that reigns with cultural hegemonic views of greatness, or declare the United States is now prepared to move into a more enlightened, forward-looking, connected, and culturally competent understanding about the balance of power.
The 2008 Presidential Election represented both the goodness and possibilities of America when voters nominated Barack Obama as the first African American Presidential candidate of the Democratic Party. The 2008 Presidential Election has also shown the ugliness of Americans by their envy, fear and intimidation, alienation, racism, sexism, divide-and-conquer mentality and utter stupidity.
The 2008 Presidential Election also educated the American Electorate about the meaning of lame duck presidency, appeasement in war, the Bush Doctrine, the Supreme Court bench, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, stock market crash and economic bailout, the job of the Vice President according to the U.S. Constitution and designer labels. Voters' heard about, but did not learn about American Exceptionalism. Bandied about by Vice Presidential Candidate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Americans were given a false impression about what it means to be that "shining city on a hill."
American Exceptionalism is not what Palin rambles on and implies -- the real, patriotic Americans are homogeneous, from small towns, jingoistic and divisive with rhetoric that pits black against white, Arab against Jew, Muslim against Christian.
On November 4, the Exceptionalism America can choose to be a part of and exhibit is voting for someone who embraces difference. Believing the idea that there is the equality of opportunity in America that anyone, no matter where you come from or the skin color you don, or even the religion you choose for worship, one can achieve and even, if they desire, become President of the United States of America.
This election put the national consciousness of America front and center. American national consciousness is challenged and stretched to its capacity. The economic stability Americans have once known is rocked by near financial collapse. More than ever, citizens of the United States are looking to government for social safety nets to "rescue" them rather than Wall Street. Prosperity is replaced with survival. Conflicts over culture wars and "seedy" associations are biting the heels of American society. Many Americans are disillusioned and have lost faith in the government's ability to be efficient. And, as we have witnessed on two sad occasions with foiled plots against Senator Barack Obama and African Americans, national pride was misinterpreted with xenophobia and white supremacy.
The next President of the United States must raise the current level of U.S. national consciousness to a foreconsciousness in which there is more integrity, openness and a greater social capital with her allies. After being slapped in the face for nearly a decade, America's external stakeholders are expecting and deserve reconciliation. There must be a reconstituted relationship effort between Republicans and Democrats that are in the vital interests of Americans. Instead of the Red states and the Blue states that separate the United States, perhaps the new President mixes both colors to become the purple states. Symbolizing royalty, nobility, power and respect, the color purple represents the beginning of a new public discourse among liberal and conservative that is not so angry, does no harm and believes ultimately in society's greater good. The next President must be a transformative leader that unites and heals the strained emotions and calms the tensions that were launched and viciously waged by the far Right.
In times of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, historical hostilities between Israel and Palestine and rumors of polities on the brink of rebellion, the next President must lead morally and with a justice that rallies the world to unite as one to thwart terrorism, aggression, genocide and other human atrocities, environmental and health disasters such as HIV-AID which threatens global security.
The choice America makes on November 4 will be a referendum on its readiness for a new direction. Will America begin to revamp age old systems towards a new world order economy that fully engages emerging economies? The choice America makes will be a world wide broadcast on whether it is content with mediocrity and the cancer of anti-intellectualism that began to spread this Election season, or will choose a leader who can cognitively, logically, methodically and compassionately guide with a sure and steady hand. America must decide!
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