Of best chances
I do not talk about a lot of things with people I care about. I avoid confrontation at most times and it takes a lot to push me to the point at which I start running my mouth. Among the things I usually don’t discuss: abortion, religion, and politics. I have recently, though, crossed the line and started discussing politics in places I normally would not. I guess if I can admit it to the people I care about, I can admit it to the world at large.
I want Barack Obama to be the next President of the United States.
A bit of disclosure: I have never voted for a Democratic Presidential candidate. In fact, I haven’t voted in a Presidential race in years. In the 15 years I’ve been allowed to vote, I have never been inspired by a candidate or what he represents. Whether it is just great marketing–and I think a lot of it is–or it is the real deal, Obama offers me that kid of inspiration.
In an interview with CNN last night, Hillary Clinton made a lot of sense. She said her first days in office would be dedicated to putting together a plan to bring America’s troops home fast. She would overturn a number of Bush’s Executive Orders that have infringed on our civil liberties.
Maybe it’s lip service. Maybe she wouldn’t do any of it. Regardless, it’s what I want done. The war, the bad beat on civil liberties, and the collapsing economy are among the first things I need to see fixed before I start believing our country is headed in the right direction again.
So, why, if Clinton is promising to do the things I want am I supporting her opponent? It’s pretty simple: Clinton represents in word, action, and symbol everything that has made me hate politics and the process for as long as I can remember. She stands for fighting the Republicans at all costs. She believes any means is appropriate to her end. I can’t look at her without thinking “gridlock.” I think she probably stands for the the right things, but I don’t think she stands on a foundation that will support the weight of her dreams.
Obama’s biggest critics cite his inexperience in leadership as a reason to discount his candidacy. I long ago rejected this argument. We elected George Bush after he governed one of America’s biggest states and had the benefit of being the son of a President. I don’t think I have to re-create the laundry list of how that experience has turned out. Hillary Clinton’s brief experience
running for President serving as a New York Senator and America’s most pitied first lady doesn’t really count–at least in my mind–as the kind of background I’d put above many other people.
I will be the first to admit, the Obama marketing machine is a damned good one. The people who have spent their time working to inculcate the parallels between he and JFK are really smart. They are smart because they are speaking to my generation and the generation before mine. We are people who want change and people who have seen how change can affect a nation. If it’s all one big commercial, well then I’ll be the first to congratulate the ad wizards. You got me.
Obama does not represent everything I want. In fact, I’m at odds with him on several issues. Frankly, I don’t care. I have either fallen victim to his marketing machine or I am duly impressed with a man who speaks about working together, getting rid of the old Red State/Blue State BS, and serving as one people to reunite a country that has spent way too long divided.
I will be voting in this year’s general election. And I hope I’ll be voting for Barack Obama.