Voting For A Story

I always write in this blog with the recognition that many of the people I love and who read -- do not agree with me on many issues. I also rarely write about political ideology because that's not primarily what I want this blog to be about. It's not what *I* want to be about. I don't have any faith in the idea that politicians or bureaucracy will save the world. Or even do much to make it better.

I do relish the notion of democracy though (even more I relish the notions of participation, consensus, collaboration and crowdsourcing). I am also American enough to appreciate free expression, evangelical enough to appreciate the "testimonial," and social-networked enough to worry that if-I-don't-disclose-it-online-it-isn't-really-true-of-me.

There. I've given you enough time to stop reading. I don't want to persuade anyone against their own will. And I don't want to be pushy about why I'm thinking the way I am.

That said. I'm voting for Obama.

Kind of.

I don't actually believe that presidents do *that* much to shape the policy of a country. I profoundly *DIS*believe that one person could usher in a messianic change (and loathe how thoroughly that strain of thinking shapes American thinking). I don't agree with all of Obama's choices or policies (but that's politics, we can only hope to vote for a general-direction-of-interests).

So what am I voting for?

I am voting for a story.

I believe that we live by story. That stories do, in fact, shape collective identity. And that when we vote for a presidential candidate we are actually voting for a story.

I am voting for a story that does not cast foreigners as villains, but recognizes that the most difficult obstacles we must face are within ourselves.

I am voting for a story that does not occur in a world defined by fear, but in a world defined by new possibilities.

I am voting for a story in which taking responsibility is central -- but rooted in collective action, not simply individual effort.

I am voting for a story featuring the importance of what we will do together, and inviting us to take action.


My brother Daniel has so clearly articulated a position that I share (regarding the "pro life" issue) that I will just refer you to his blog if you want to know what I think.


Brian Hollingsworth said...

I agree that the president only plays a small part in bringing about change through the government - there are two other branches that are supposedly "separate but equal" to make sure that change is a collective effort. But those other branches don't have the ability to inspire quite like the executive branch. We need a central figure that we can rally behind, that inspires us. So, I like what you said about "voting for a story". The President may not be able to change everything, but he can represent the collective "American Story" that we are all a part of.

Rini said...

me too.