Reason #7: Justice

That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.

–Langston Hughes

I love my country.  I’m proud to be an American, and proud of our contributions to democracy throughout the world.  We are not perfect – far from it; we have denied justice to our own for centuries.  Yet in spite of our failures, I see in our form of government and the good hearts of our people the world’s best chance to reach the goal of equality and justice for all.  Our example, with all its flaws, has been a light to oppressed people throughout the world.

Such a role demands that our nation and its leaders uphold the principles of justice on which our country was founded.  Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case during the past two presidential terms.  From the invasion of Iraq to invasions of our privacy in the name of “homeland security,” our actions have changed our reputation from that of just nation to arrogant one.  It has cost us much of the world’s trust.

Some Americans are fine with this shift in our world role, preferring to define it in terms of military might.  I find it incredibly sad.  I want our country to be respected again, and deserving of the friendship of our allies.  I want us to be the kind of leader that will guide the world to peace rather than destruction.

To regain our reputation, we have to renew our commitment to justice.  The Bush administration’s position on torture, its lengthy confinement of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo without trial, and its efforts to increase surveillance of American citizens seems to say that security and justice cannot coexist.  That’s a dangerous attitude, one that John McCain’s record and behavior have done little to dispel.  (For a comparison of McCain and Bush’s platforms on human rights and civil liberties, click here.)

Barack Obama’s personal commitment to justice is clear.  He understands from his work in civil rights how justice is denied to many Americans.  He recognizes the importance of continued vigilance on social justice issues. I’m voting for Barack Obama because I see in him the hope that America can again become a beacon of justice, for all Americans, and for people around the world.

–Margie, mother of two who blogs at Third Mom


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