The tides of discontent and anger in this country have washed away a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and will soon bring the demise of a Republican White House. From the dark days in Iraqi deserts to the hungry nights on rooftops in New Orleans, a small break in the clouds of Washington now shines the prospect of hope upon our nation.
In the coming months, the first female and the first black Americans to have legitimate shots at the presidency will grapple for the pockets of big business and the hearts of every American.
To look at this setting without finding inspiration would be callous, but to completely lean on it for the change we desire would be extraordinarily dangerous.
Yes, without question, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton would provide a facelift to a country in desperate need of a change. But it would be merely that: an outward change of face, without the depth of a change in heart.
A new administration and a new leader will not directly lead this country in a better direction based solely on the novelty of having a woman or black American as President.
A true change of heart in this country can come from only one place: the people. For as much as we resent the actions of our current administration, the only way to amend their pitfalls rests in the power we have to raise our voices.
Leaning on just a presidential nominee or campaign slogan to bring this country out of the shadows would prove not only futile, but dishonorable as well. It would be our shameful disgrace to the thousands of mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters who have given up a part of their lives so that we have the right to shout our cries and raise our voices.
In a powerful opinion written in dedication to Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday, Bob Herbert quoted the great man.
“Our lives begin to end,” King said, “the day we become silent about the things that matter.”
In honor of King, the victims of Katrina, our fallen soldiers, and all of those who fight for our right to change the world in which we live, stop today for just a moment, and think about the power and duty we have to fight our own battles for the ideals that drive our hearts.
The voice of America spoke in November, and the clouds have parted just enough for us to taste the hope that little light has shed. Yet to truly change this country we must always continue to protest, question, and fight for what we believe. Let Barack or Hillary feed off of our passion, and lean on our voice of change.
Corey Ciorciari is a sophomore majoring in creative writing and business management. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.