I was raised by my grandparents, who were both Republicans. Our political argument began when I was twelve and continued through Clinton. My grandfather was active in local politics, constantly attending fundraisers for his favorite candidates. He called Senator Akaka “Brother Dan,” and asked him for favors, like putting in a good word for me when I applied for a job. (I was horrified because I wanted to make it on my own.)
As I get older, I appreciate doing things that remind me of my grandparents. Maybe that explains why I obsessively researched all of the candidates, Republican and Democrat, in preparation for the primary election this year. I went to see Ron Paul, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, and Barack Obama before voting. I drove my friends crazy with emails about the candidates, I handed out voter registration forms in class, and I invited people over to watch election coverage.
For me, the choice was difficult because I think Hillary Clinton brought a lot to the table, but I chose to support Obama because I admire his literacy, his respect for and knowledge of the Constitution, his views on the balance of power among the branches of government, and his goal to make government more open and available to the people. More than that, though, I feel he represents America. I love America for its diversity of thought and its variety of people. I grew up in Hawaii (yes, Obama really did go to my high school!*), which, like America, is a place of many ecosystems, many cultures, and many walks of life. To me, Barack Obama embodies the spirit of my home.
*The t-shirt was made for me by the awesome Storyville shop here in Austin.