It has to stop now! I can’t stand to hear again, “If John McCain wins this election, I’m moving to Canada!” The United Kingdom and France are no better. Stop threatening to move if your political interests don’t immediately come to fruition.
This trite proclamation has run rampant across our campus during this campaign, and it must be extinguished. Because of the what-feels-like-colossal importance of this election, the topic squeezes its way into nearly every conversation, if not nearly every interaction, among too many people. Yalies shallowly have been declaring their hideous abandon-ship mentality far too often.
This is exactly what we don’t need right now. Moreover, it is to fail the candidate you support when you threaten to cowardly run for the hills. On Oct. 16, Barack Obama declared, “The future you seek, the future we seek for our children is too important to let up now.” Do you then believe that come Nov. 5, if he loses the election to John McCain, he will suddenly turn around and say that the future we claim to be seeking for our children isn’t so important after all and we can stop fighting now?
Of course not.
After all, it is the future we all seek — not Obama. It is a future for all of our children — not his. One man in one office can’t solve all the problems of the United States. We, collectively, as citizens, can solve these problems.
Things will be different with a leader fervently committed once again to uniting all of us as a nation, rather than as red states and blue states, “real America” and un-real America. They’ll be different with a leader who as an individual stands for the great progress we are capable of as a nation. You can say it will be harder. You can say it may set some causes back. You can even say openly that you will be discouraged. But to say you would simply give up on the United States of America is so unpatriotic I suggest you rethink your privileges and responsibilities as an American citizen.
I’m not arguing no one should go abroad. I’m arguing no one should go abroad to escape our nation’s problems, especially not those represented by a single election. To bail out — even to threaten to bail out — because you didn’t get your way on Election Day is beyond juvenile; it’s contemptible.
This wild threat becomes even more abhorrent at an institution such as Yale, which is supposed to foster the best and brightest of our nation’s youth, the leaders of tomorrow. Leaving it all up to one man is to shirk the responsibility that is concomitant with the opportunity to be at a school like this.
On Tuesday, I saw the Rev. Reginald Green speak about leaving his education for a time to be a Freedom Rider during the Civil Rights movement. He and his colleagues left their comforts and risked their lives to fight for the future they sought. At the end of our conversation, he said that today, no matter how much we disagree, we do it much more often without violence. Our fights, our causes, the challenges our generation faces may never so blatantly threaten our lives or safety in the way Rev. Green’s fights threatened his.
Yet some of us are still so lazy, still so coddled and so entitled that if our favorite candidate loses an election, we’re leaving the country. How can we be so pusillanimous? It’s long overdue that we step up and fight, the way generations of young Americans that came before us have.
I’m not voting for a Democrat on Tuesday, or for an African-American man, or for a celebrity. I’m voting for a presidential candidate who stands for the beliefs that make me proud to be an American. As Obama pleaded on Oct. 22, “I ask of you what’s been asked of Americans throughout our history: I ask of you to believe. Believe in yourselves, believe in each other, believe in the future we can build together. Together we can’t fail.”
I understand the importance of this Tuesday with all my heart. But President Obama or none, I’m fighting the rest of my life for the America I want for my children.
Colin Adamo is a junior in Pierson College.