I was feeling bitter and angry at the American political process when I fell asleep to the sound of Wolf Blitzer’s voice about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday night, still not knowing who won the presidency.
This is what I dreamed.
I dreamed we elected a president who inspires. He was a leader who leads, says what he means and is not afraid of the consequences. I dreamed of a president who was truthful.
Plainly, I just dreamed we elected a decent human being. That means no sex scandals, no lying and no cheating, either on a spouse or on an election.
I dreamed our leader was intelligent, clever and able to form complete sentences. He did not dumb himself down to the American people. He truly understood the value of education because the president I dreamed of earned his way into college and worked through it.
I dreamed we elected someone who had served in the military. But I did not dream we elected someone who filmed himself while he did so.
I dreamed we elected a leader who cares about nature’s green and not the green in his pocket.
I dreamed we elected someone who never has stepped foot in Washington, D.C. Therefore, he was oblivious to wealthy lobbyists or big anything.
I dreamed we elected a president who would kill terrorists, not create them. He was a leader who knew the only way to accomplish that is to attack terrorists themselves, not areas where terrorists may be.
I dreamed we elected a president who would send us to war as a last resort; someone who seems reluctant rather than eager. After all, our fathers, brothers, uncles, mothers, sisters and cousins will fight it–not the president.
I did not dream of a Republican; I did not dream of a Democrat. I dreamed that, like most Americans, he was independent and believed that taking one’s stance on an issue based on a platform or by someone else’s guidelines rather than through facts, fairness and ethics is a completely absurd way to think. In my dream, we elected a president who made decisions to benefit us, not his partisan pals.
I dreamed I was proud of my president. I dreamed that I looked up to him and that I related to him, and that he was respected by the world. I voted for him because I liked him and not because I disliked his opponent.
I dreamed we elected a leader who united America, not someone who sharply divided it. In my dream, he took steps forward by pursuing equality and justice for everybody. For example, he (cover your children’s eyes) supported gay marriage.
I dreamed the president won the election solely by gaining a majority nationwide vote–not through the outdated, complicated and flawed system in which we are stuck with today.
And the most striking thing about him was this: authenticity. I actually believed what he said. Imagine that.
I dreamed our leader took a firm stand on an issue. He shot straight. But at the same time, the president in my dream admitted mistakes, blamed himself and then fixed the problem. He did not dance around his misjudgments with empty reason and thin rationalization; he addressed them head on. He made no excuses.
Naturally, there were plenty of cynics in my dream, saying what I wanted was impossible. They said it was unfeasible and bordered on insanity. And you are probably thinking the same thing.
But why? Why don’t we hold our president, the leader of the greatest nation in the world, to a higher standard? Our country is extraordinary; shouldn’t our president be the same? Has it really come to Americans expecting and ultimately accepting lies and half-truths from our president?
Then my alarm went off. I woke up, looked at the TV, saw the winner, sighed and fell back asleep.
Wake me up in 2008.
John Calkins is a junior majoring in mass communications. firstname.lastname@example.org