[Kamikaze] Rising Above the Muck

By the time you read this column, the cameras will be gone. The reporters will have packed up all their pens, pads and voice recorders, and moved on to Pennsylvania. All the ballots will be counted.

This time, the obvious Democratic nominee hadn't emerged by March, and a tight race forced the candidates to hustle well into the Mississippi primaries. And suddenly, Campaign '08 descended upon the Magnolia State. If but for a fleeting moment, Mississippi was the most important place in the country. Cities like Jackson, Canton, Philadelphia and Biloxi were plastered all over basic cable. And though it took one of the most storied primaries in recent history to shine light on the continuing plight of Katrina victims on the Coast or the scarcity of jobs in the Delta, we can't sit and bask in our few days of fame. We must continue to trumpet our relevance.

Understand, you have all been witnesses to history. An African American and a woman are both viable candidates for this country's top job. For the first time in a while, politics are exciting. Young voters have risen up from the depths of apathy, motivated by candidates they feel they can get behind. Cable news has upped their technology, and the blogosphere is abuzz as folks from all walks of life—professors to housewives—are making their opinions, and votes, heard.

This is indeed a great time to be alive.

That's why I cast my vote for Barack Obama. No, I'm not a chauvinist. No, I didn't vote for him because I was disappointed by the poli-''tricks'' of the Clinton campaign. And hell no, I didn't vote for him because he's black. Obama is the best choice because he dares to do things differently. He is truly an agent of change. I can relate to that.

Obama speaks to the politics of unity. He is a black man who lives by the premise that not all white people are out to get you and not all black people are your allies; the belief that we can be successful by simply doing what is right.

He has the gall to be positive and rise above the muck of negative campaigning. Obama's detractors say his eloquent, dynamic speeches lack policy. But that's only because they choose not to research his stances. They fail to realize that the best-laid plans mean nothing if they can't be passionately relayed to the people.

I voted for Obama because as a candidate, he has inspired me to dare do those same things in Mississippi. And in the end, a president should be able to do just that: lead, inspire and give hope. Here's to the cynics. Vote Obama in '08.

And that's the truth ... sho-nuff.


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