Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

27 Jul 2014, 6:52 a.m.

I Was So Excited To Elect A Constitutional Law Professor

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2014 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Today, July 27th, is the ten-year anniversary of Barack Obama's super cool 2004 Democratic National Convention speech. That one. Remember that? Remember how good it was?

That we can say what we think, write what we think, without hearing a sudden knock on the door.

John Kerry believes in the constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.

We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don't like federal agents poking around our libraries in the Red States.

I am deeply sad that I can only quote these lines in a spirit of bitter irony and disappointment.


27 Jul 2014, 9:01 a.m.

I know; I feel the same way. He was the first person I was ever genuinely happy to vote for for President; I felt that he represented my views and understood the complexity of the issues without losing his moral compass. If I was wrong, that's depressing. If I was right, that's even more depressing, seeing what he's done since then.

David Branner
27 Jul 2014, 11:39 a.m.

Yes, tell me about it. In 2012 I had to use artificial means to make myself willing to vote — reminding myself that Obama's party still stood for policy-implementations for which people had made great sacrifices in the past, and that to fail to vote was to let down those people and dismiss those sacrifices. So I voted.

The way I feel these days is that there is now only one bedrock political issue on which Obama's party still hold the upper ground — reproductive liberty. For the sake of that issue, I must apparently look away from many other ideals. I wonder if some day I will come to feel unwilling to do that any more. And I wonder how badly the "Red State" party might want my vote.