I admit it. I am obsessed with primary election gossip. Cnn’s “Election Center 2008” is hot-wired into my search engine history and now I only have to type the first “C” to get what I am looking for.
But I ask the question– What is it about this primary process that has me, and for that matter, that has America hooked? Why is my 18-year old brother passionate about the election?
While it seems like a cop out or perhaps a tired refrain to say “it matters now more than ever,” I think that perhaps the answer could perhaps be found by looking at the question of passion. Passion permeates the campaign, with each nominee staking their claim to “hope” and “change” in their own ways. And this time, more than ever, the candidates, at least externally, represent a great deal more of variance than they have in the past. There are evangelicals and liberal protestants, men and women, traditional and non-traditional. The fact that Huckabee is still sticking it out and WINNING states and REFUSES to bow out tells me that there is something to fight for on both sides, that it isn’t just the Democrats who haven’t made their mind up yet.
But again, I want to get back to the idea of passion. It feels as though people have woken up, or have been awakened, this year to the sense that things don’t have to be “the same old same old.” We have a choice. We have a voice. We may not be united in terms of what we want, but Americans seem more united than ever in our passion for something different, something better. We seem to be getting the message– Historically it seems that we always knew that our country is worth fighting for and perhaps even worth dying for, but we finally seem to be saying with our votes and our voices that it is also worth living for and dreaming for.
So while I may secretly hope that my candidate of choice blows everyone else out of the water and wins in a tidal wave of popular public opinion, I am grateful nonetheless to see that our country, on both sides of the aisle, seems passionate once more.