Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, was once quoted as saying, ‘Of strange, discordant and even hostile elements, we gathered from the four winds and formed and fought to battle through.”

Today, Senator Barack Obama, another senator from Illinois campaigning to become president, reminds us that ‘we cannot walk alone; we must walk together to tear down those walls that divide us and lift up an America that is truly indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Historical comparisons and rhetorical tropes aside, these are more than pretty words they are a call to return to a founding, fundamental American principle: when the people decide the status quo needs to change, they can, through a concerted, organized and collective effort, reshape the contours of their national life.

To revitalize our economy, Obama has proposed a plan that would use bottom-up growth to inject our nation’s markets with a new measure of energy and vigor. First and foremost, this would mean giving 95 percent of Americans a tax cut, putting money in the pockets of American consumers and stimulating market activity. Under the Obama plan, economics and energy policy would be linked, for the need for new green technologies offers us a chance to create new jobs in new industries while ending our reliance on foreign oil.

To fix our health care system, the Obama plan calls for the restoration of efficiency, the promotion of innovation and the fostering of public health programs. This would first of all mean encouraging competition in the health care industry by making the differences between various plans and providers clear and understandable to consumers, thereby allowing them to make informed decisions. Furthermore, this would mean investing in new health care technologies that would increase the effectiveness of care while driving down the associated costs. Finally, this would offer consumers a viable public health plan. This public plan, by offering consumers a meaningful alternative, will provide private insurers with an incentive to innovate and reduce administrative overhead, once again improving care while lowering costs.

To restore America’s global standing and prominence, Obama has proposed a foreign policy that is measured, reasoned and, to borrow from the noted political scientist Fareed Zakaria, ‘attuned to the moment we are in.” First, he has set forth a plan by which we can and will bring a responsible yet expeditious end to the War in Iraq.

Furthermore, the Obama plan is based upon a belief that the president should not limit his foreign policy concerns to one region but must approach the issue with a global perspective. In doing so, Obama has called for greater cooperation with and among the global community to identify, address and solve problems that confront all of us: HIV/AIDS, global climate change, nuclear proliferation, etc. Finally, Obama’s foreign policy reflects the basic principle espoused by president John F. Kennedy: ‘We should never negotiate out of fear, but we should never fear to negotiate.”

However, Obama offers us more than good policy. As clich as it might sound, he offers us hope. His campaign, one that from day one has been funded and driven by ordinary people organizing themselves at the grassroots level, serves as a potent reminder of the ability of regular, every-day citizens, when committed to a cause and working together, to influence change in the world.

I would like to conclude by urging all of you to do two things on Nov. 4. First, exercise your right as a citizen of the American republic and vote! The strength, integrity and greatness of this nation are the results of generations of Americans actively and zealously exercising their rights. We are the inheritors of their legacy and it is both our privilege and our duty to follow their example. Second, give serious consideration to voting for Obama. While I believe that both candidates are serious, knowledgeable men with honest commitments to their nation, for the reasons outlined above, Obama is uniquely suited to the moment we are in and therefore offers us the brightest future. Together, yes we can!

UR Womens’ Lacrosse trounces Nazareth 17-5

UR’s Womens’ Lacrosse team beat Nazareth University 17–5 on Tuesday at Fauver Stadium.

Gaza solidarity encampment: Live updates

The Campus Times is live tracking the Gaza solidarity encampment on Wilson Quad and the administrative response to it. Read our updates here.

UR Baseball beats Hamilton and RIT

Yellowjackets baseball beat Hamilton College on Tuesday and RIT on Friday to the scores of 11–4 and 7–4, respectively.