Looking Forward: A Hopemoir
A Vision Finds It’s Candidate
My beliefs are deeply-rooted in a fact-based faith system of truth, honesty, and compassion. In an ever-changing world, it is a true blessing to have at my disposal this guiding light as my anchor. Without these defined areas of thought, my vision for the future would float endlessly in a pool of confusion, rather than be hammered so solidly into the vast concrete slab of my mind.
This vision comes, as do all visions, from an idea. The idea that the future can, and will, hold something for the generation to follow. It is inevitable that the younger generations will be either discontent or pleased with a situation in which they feel they have little say. It is the job of my generation to clear the path for the Future Leaders of America. This is why my campaign focuses primarily on the youth vote. Rather than change the minds of those set in their ways and opinions, I’d rather spend my time molding the minds of the youth, and helping them understand how they can, will, and must change the world.
I myself was once an impressionable youth, given to rash decision making, absorbing anything and everything in an attempt to capture the essence of what was around me so that I could change it to make it better. One would think meeting a member of the American Aristocracy would end all that – would make the child sternly change to adult, bringing about a newfound responsibility. In fact, the exact opposite happened on a dull day four years ago, when a handshake changed my life.
On a rainy day in the Fall of 2000, I stood in the small city of Oneonta, New York, the nearest metropolitan area to my hometown of Laurens, waiting with my best friend and future adviser Dan Gomiller, along with a throng of curious parties, fourteen or so strong, to meet a former great leader of this country. Soon to leave the White House and pursue further social action, this was a welcome visitor to a small city of no more than thirty thousand.
I stood in the rain, green army trench coat hanging to my ankles, now soaked to the bone, purple composition book in hand, waiting for a signal of imminent arrival. As the breath from our bodies halted from crystallizing in the cold air, a car approached this small entrance to a book shop. I stood, in awe, at this person who had become more than a mere figurehead – almost a representative, even – of our country.
Hands were shaken, the veterans spoke of injustice, and I, speechless to say the least, opened my composition book to the nearest blank page. Looking me straight in the eye and taking my pen, there came upon the pages of that now most treasured of books the stately penmanship of Washington, DC’s own Hillary Rodham Clinton. With a handshake, she sealed the deal. In that brief second we shared a moment of personal repose, contemplating perhaps where the other was going within the years to come. It seems neither of us knew for sure, but we both had hopes for the other. The simple look she gave me as she handed my pen back and shook Dan’s hand made me understand why I was there. She made me understand why, as a politician, the people needed her. She knew that autographs are an incredibly valuable commodity in today’s marketplace, and cared enough to pass the wealth that could be created, simply with the stroke of her wrist, to me.
I’ve made it my goal since that day, almost a full four years ago, to live by the credo I think she would’ve shared with me, had we exchanged words:
“Give of yourself unto the people, even if it be the smallest, least valuable, yet easiest accessible thing you own or can do.”
Though her suggestive nod and noticeable attempt at eye contact before she was whisked to the next well-wisher might seem a bit verbose, I understand what it was I have come to believe was her intention. She wanted me to succeed.
Not only did she want me to succeed, but she wanted the country to succeed in my stead. And I’ve taken this clear signal to heart every day since then. I’ve made it a driving force in my desire to not only better myself but the living conditions of the American people. So when I began my campaign in early 2004, I used those memories as inspiration. I now shake hands at every public appearance I make.
The signature that changed my life.
The events on that rainy day in October renewed in me an often struggling faith in the American way of life. My hometown’s educational system had often disappointed me, with a disproportionate amount of taxes going toward what many of us struggled to be taught. In a village of 200 people, there are three easily-accessible businesses, and one of them is a bar. Upon meeting the first lady, however, all of those problems seemed to disappear. Her pants-suit seemed to indicate good things to come for the country. Her nice shoes said that “in the wake of this administration comes prosperity and happiness.” And in my heart, I’ve kept that promise close, remembering it every time things in this country seem bleak.
Mrs. Clinton, my vision for the future is dedicated to you.