I’ve never voted for a Democrat for anything in my entire life.  I’ve always considered myself a Reagan Republican.  I believe in lower taxes, smaller government, strong defense as an instrument of peace, and above all in the power of the individual to create their own success.Yesterday I voted for Republicans for state offices and the US House.  I voted a mostly conservative position on the state propositions.  But for the first time yesterday, I voted for a Democrat for President of the United States.I don’t agree with Barack Obama on a lot of his policy positions.  I hope that he’s not too hasty to decrease our presence in hot zones in the middle east.  I hope that he is methodical and cautious in his engagement with hostile regimes.  I hope that his tax policies don’t disincent investment and job creation.  I hope that he takes a moderate approach to health care reform rather than a complete overhaul.  But I don’t think that policy is the solution to the ills that plague America right now.In all walks of life, people perform at their highest potential when they believe and have faith in a better tomorrow.  I voted for Barack Obama because I believe that he inspires this faith.  I believe that what America needs most to drive towards a brighter future is a clear vision of hope in what we can accomplish.  I don’t look at Barack Obama with the messianic awe and reverance that his most ardent supporters did, but I saw that awe and reverance in them and how he inspired disenfranchised Americans to stand up and be counted.  And they did stand up in an historic show of faith and optimism.I have mixed feelings on what an Obama presidency will do from a policy perspective.  I don’t know if the programs he’s proposed will move us forward or backward and it’s a precarious time to risk moving backwards.  But I want to believe that the power Barack Obama has is to inspire us as Americans to look forward with hope and optimism and through the collective strength of millions of empowered individuals to move America forward toward a brighter future.  A future that we all view through a lens of belief in ourselves, and a renewed belief in America.Now, more than any point in my lifetime, is not the time to wage an us vs. them battle between the right and the left, but it is a time to recognize that regardless of our religions, our races, and our political persuasions that we need to hold a common vision of the greatness of our country and work together to see that vision through.There is a human side to this election that we haven’t seen for quite a while.  In the past, we’ve argued about positions and policies and made our decisions as red states and blue.  But what Barack Obama has done is changed that debate.  His campaign and his message consistently focused on hope and empowerment.  And while hope and empowerment alone are not enough to make positive change, positive change is impossible without them.I want to leave you with a video that for me captures what this election is about.  I don’t know Rahsheen, but I think he provides a powerful message about what this election means for America.I voted for Barack Obama.  I hope I was right.