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Audacity of Hope


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Usually in YS’s election issue, I’ll select a hot-button issue and fill this spot with a very heart-felt and passionate rant. Or maybe I’ll inspire my readers to get out there and vote!

But today, I’m just not feeling it. To be more specific, when a political ad pops up or Newsweek lands on my desk, my heart pounds and I begin to feel claustrophobic. It’s also how I feel watching the Broncos play.

Between Boulder County’s ballot privacy shenanigans and voter identification laws around the country, between the truthiness that’s enveloped campaigns and constant candidate waffling, I’m sick of politics, politicians, political strategists and political commentators. My natural optimism has faded into a cold, dark pragmatism, and those stress-inducing campaign ads are not making it any better.

You have to be completely out of touch to think politics is a happy dance. It’s ugly and tainted. Barack Obama once gave a speech that sent goose bumps across my shoulders. “Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?” he asked in 2004, when he was a mere senator. It’s easy to talk about hope and change—and say with pride that we participate in a politics of hope—but in practice, our entire political system has become a moral black hole.

With that said, I can’t leave you with such a gloomy note, there are beacons of hope.Here is what gives me hope.

Fact Checkers: The rise of the fact checker is the best thing to happen to politics since Deep Throat. Neil Newhouse’s quote—“We’re not going let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers”—is ridiculous. It does not matter that the campaigns don’t care that someone is checking their facts, because the voters do. If fact checkers continue to rate leaders’ rhetoric on the truth barometer, those leaders may begin to tell the truth.

Ron Paul: Ron Paul has his faults, but what makes him great is that he stands by his principals. He does not change his opinion based on who he’s talking to, and he will not be bought. The popularity of his campaign shows voters do want an honest, fearless candidate.

Big Bird: Just because it’s Big Bird.

The Local Guys: We have tremendous representatives who are both good politicians and good people. They go to work everyday to fight for you—improving education, battling inefficiencies and supporting services.

This may be slim pickings but in a political season as bleak as this, it’s all I’ve got.

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email no info send march17th/09

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