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Maureen J Andrade
I'm a writer and artist from the Pacific Northwest. Progressive and practical, I believe politics should never be a winner-take-all game, but rather a healthy relationship between people and their leadership.
When President Obama gave his final call to volunteers Tuesday, my kids and I were of the thousands of people listening. Piped in through my laptop, the brief speech was experienced at my house in the kitchen, where I was making dinner. The part that struck me- the sentence I will always remember- was when he said “I love you.” Our president said it three times that I counted.
The leader of the United Stated felt this victory in his heart, which is exactly why he won; this is why we all won in this election. Whether you’re Republican, Independent, or Democratic, you won with the reelection of President Obama. When things are done with heart, they benefit many.
Rep. Boehner is already talking compromise, and the feeling of forward movement towards ending the stalemate in D.C. is growing in the lame duck session. This is because Republican leadership knows they were handed their asses when they tried to figure out how to maintain control, instead of put together a platform that honors the better angels of the American spirit. What the heart knew, GOP brains couldn’t guess at.
While Mitt Romney tries to dissect his failure, the thousands of volunteers who knocked on tens of millions of doors for Obama ruminate on their heartfelt victory. We did this because we knew the only way to create a more perfect union is by making the system fairer. Things like health care reform, student loan reform, industry bailout, and new technology and energy jobs work in concert to create a widening prosperity for the American people. These, and many more pieces of legislation, are parts of a united whole that are acts of loving kindness when implemented with integrity.
“Love is a radical act,” my friend Sam said a few months back when she started an artistic movement with the same name (http://loveisaradicalact.com/). It is. Love is what motivates parents to sacrifice for their children. Love is what motivates a community to step in to help a family who has had a significant loss. When love is put into action it improves the situation into which it is implemented. Never underestimate the power of love to transform a person, a family, or a nation.
When Elizabeth Warren spoke during her successful campaign bid to the Senate, she would wear her heart on her sleeve. Though she was especially emotive, she reflected the mood in the party, which was of opening, accepting, and taking responsibility to others. Speakers at the Democratic Convention repeatedly invoked this theme. It was a conspiracy of love.
President Obama implores us to get to work. It is time to build things, heal people, educate ourselves, and expand our abilities. It’s time for the transfiguration of love to come upon this country, and change our minds about what is really important. The Republicans wanted to talk about values for over a decade, but now it’s time to have some. We are our brothers’ keepers, and our sisters’ keepers. We are all aunties and uncles to this nation’s kids. We are one people with one obligation- to serve each other with loving action…to build something with our hearts.