I’ve often wondered how a Union Party should look like. What values and principles should it uphold, who should populate it, and what color should it have – green, red, blue, yellow? What would make a Union Party a strong party, a fair party, one that would separate itself from the measly debates of everyday compromise for the sake of compromise, of everyday doing all that it takes to stay in power. What happened to dreams? What happened to values upheld against all odds? Where are the leaders history has always provided in time of need?
I fully comprehend that politics is the art of compromise. It’s the art of small, and sometimes benign steps towards a greater goal. But what is that goal today? What is it other than power? Does anyone wonder why we vote, or do we just do it because somebody needs to be elected. Because we desire someone placed on top of us that we can blame or cheer for? Because we believe we have the power to impact change on the great grinding wheel that life is? Why do we vote when there is no one to be elected, when we are faced with choosing just the color, never the ideals, the principles or the dream. I find myself puzzled by these questions everyday, primarily so because I lack option. I believe I am forced to choose between different things that don’t sit well with me, some more, some less, some not at all. But what I lack, what I truly desire is to vote for things I can believe in.
I’ve been carefully observing over the past two weeks all that goes on on the European political scene in search of something to believe in. I’ve been craving for the opportunity to believe in something, to believe in it despite all odds. Something to inspire me, to make me dream once more, to hope. Barack Obama had an electoral machine behind him that perfectly understood this need. On the eve of the elections that first installed him at the White House support for his “audacity of hope” was overwhelming. Particularly so in Europe. All across the EU, and quite likely not only here, he inspired people to hope. I am not going to look at what happened afterwards, because afterwards politics as we know it + the particularities of the US kicked in. But what really grinds my wheels is that uncanny gift of inspiring hope. A charismatic persona, gifted speech writers, a wonderfully simple message and campaign, support from popular icons, all these came together to create a very powerful construct.
And I wonder why don’t we have this in the EU? Why do we lack the ability to inspire across borders, to find the same hopes and aspirations all across the Union? Twitter and Facebook, this blog, have shown me that there are a lot of people out there that think like me. As well as a lot of people that think differently. And that is ok. What I don’t find ok is the absence of options for those who think like me. We lack that one voice that speaks directly to us. There are many around that wave the banner of a Federal Europe. Some by conviction, some by opportunity, some by chance. All of them however have allegiances that lie elsewhere. It’s not exactly what I want. I want someone that puts this first. I want someone that climbs on that stage and proclaims that he or she wants a Federal Europe. And that his or hers project is this or that, and that he or she believes that it should happen in this or that order.
There a million views on how a Federal Europe should look like, how it should be built and run. Every federalist out there has an opinion on it. What we lack, what we truly need is someone that says I believe in this project, and I will do all I can to see it through. In the great chatter that the idea of a Federal Europe generates daily all across the continent, what lacks is a strong voice to capture the attention of all others. We need, I want, someone that can convince me to support his or hers banner. Someone that I can trust with my vote. Somebody that I would like to vote.
It’s not about winning. It’s not even about not winning. I have long held the belief that a true Federal Europe will not happen in my lifetime, and I am only 30. But I do believe that if it is for it to happen, then we, federalists, must achieve unity amongst ourselves first. We must find common ground, larger than the concept that makes us talk to one another. Larger than our left or right political views, larger than our belief in this or that deity. Larger than our lives.
What I want, what I truly desire is the unity of our voice. One crystal clear, strong an direct voice. Let’s stop the noise and loud chatter, and begin our own “audacity of hope”.