As a Canadian teenager, you would expect that taking interest in US politics would not be an interest of mine. After all, on November 6, I will not have a ballot in front of me, nor will I have a say on who becomes president of the United States of America.
So what has inspired a teenager from across the border to be so interested in the 2012 presidential election?
Back in 2008 was when I first heard of Barack Obama. I was only 13 at the time. Watching politicians on TV was not exactly amusing compared to all the other programming and stars a teen would turn the TV on for. And until that moment, the only similar-sounding name I had ever heard of was Osama -- a person the world was only hoping to get rid of. So you see, I wasn't really open to showing any immediate interest in this person named Obama in the presidential election campaigning that dominated almost all the North American media during those days.
However, as I watched Barack Obama take the podium, I noticed something completely different about this man. No, it was not his foreign-sounding name or the fact that he was a colored person competing for that post. And no, it was not even his charisma that caught my attention. The more I listened to this man address the people, the more I could tell that his words came from more than a teleprompter -- his words originated in his humble beginnings, his struggles and his heart.
At one time, the world admired people who rose from rags to riches. Today, the world seems to have more admiration for the people who continue to remember their humble beginnings. The world is constantly seeking a "People's Person." Princess Diana was called the "People's Princess," Pope John Paul II is the "People's Saint," and just a year ago while the world was spellbound by Kate Middleton's Cinderella story. Many were and still are convincing themselves to believe that she & Prince William are their new found "People's Royal Couple".
On January 20, 2009, the White House received a "People's Family." When the Obamas moved into the White House, they brought in a sense of warmth that made the house more of a home. But it's not just that -- they made the whole of America their neighborhood when Americans realized that the first family was approachable.
The Obamas are relatable. They have had struggles familiar to any middle class family, prior to life in the White House. They know what it is like to be a college student paying off loans and a parent trying to make ends meet. They are living proof that one doesn't need to have big bucks or be born into the rich and famous to one day live in the White House.
Together, Barack and Michelle have emerged from their own hardships to become a powerhouse full of experience, working together with the people of America. They take the time to not just talk to families but to listen to families, devising ways to give these families better days than they had experienced. They give hope to all Americans.
At the Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama addressed the importance of having a father present in a child's life. Malia and Sasha must have been so proud when their dad became president. But four years later, they are more proud of the fact that the President is still very much their dad.
In a country where broken families, single parents and divorce are numbered among the highest in the world, the Obamas have displayed strong family values. What other head of state as powerful as the president of the United States of America can boast of spending time with his family almost every evening?
Remember, democracy is defined as being "a government by the people, of the people, for the people." Being a Democrat, the president has certainly come about as being one who the people of America brought into power from amongst them because they placed their faith in him. And today, he has proved it as he rightly stated, "Even if you didn't vote for me, I am going to work as hard as I can for every American."
So will the vote of the American people once again bring back the person they could call "People's President"?