Election is fresh start for America
Polk County Itemizer-Observer
January 29, 2008
It is 2008. Our nation finds itself engaged in the selection of a new president - a fresh start. Americans are questioning what we are now leaving the next generation, and looking ahead to the legacy we will leave our children.
For many of us, the past several years have been spent under the cloud of disbelief. The rains have slowed and the storm has at least temporarily given way to the sun. It appears the American people have decided that two hard right turns now justify a correction.
Events have led to the rebirth of our American conscience. It is exciting to be an American again.
Our vocabulary is beginning to rekindle the words of democracy, the legacy of all the great generations that came before: hope, opportunity, courage and possibility. And words matter. Contests are now being waged on the high ground of courage and hope rather than in the valley of fear and hopelessness.
Change is on the way. Think about it for a moment: among the top candidates currently seeking the presidency are arguably the most diverse group of contenders in U.S. history. Both parties are searching for the person - and the vision - that represents the America that can live up to its ideals, an America that can fulfill its promise.
The challenges are many.
We inhabit a world where China, Russia, a resurgent Europe, and an unleashed India are working to define global trade. We struggle to face the growing diplomatic and military challenges of stateless terrorism, developing nations with nuclear capacities, and the swagger of emergent economic powers throughout Central and Southern Asia.
Today we feel nervous, uncertain. The U.S. dollar is weak, financial markets appear to be wobbly, the economy is stagnant, and the fiscal irresponsibility of the past seven years has left us with an historic $9 trillion debt.
Fortunately, we have the ability to correct our course - to construct a better tomorrow.
2008 is the year we can choose to renew the American promise, to extend the rights and responsibilities of citizenship to a new generation of patriots, to bolster our respect throughout the world.
Seldom in history have nations been as blessed as ours; almost never has a country been given as many opportunities for rebirth as We the People have been given. This year, we must seize the moment and choose renewal.
During the last campaign we built an agenda upon four core principles: guaranteed opportunity, a safe environment, protection of our basic rights, and provision of the future as well as the present. These four elements comprised the Pioneer Compact: a new relationship between citizens and government, a description of civic stewardship, a call for action.
Now is the time for Americans to multiply the blessings that were bestowed upon us by those who came before. Our country needs each and every one of us, now more than ever.
This next chapter of our history is an opportunity to restore the America we all know to be possible. Let us rekindle the spirit of what Lincoln called, "the better angels of our nature." Let us commit ourselves to finding a time, place, and manner to invest ourselves in the outcome of restoring the promise.
Together we can.
Paul Evans is a resident of Monmouth.