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.

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Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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5 Responses

  1. Anonymous KenP says:

    If you recall, the handwriting on the wall with “Dubya” was his lack of international experience that media poorly pointed out with him not knowing the head of Sri Lanka or such. Obama seems in as bad or worse shape. And that is needed more now than ever.

    Obama frankly scares the crap out of me when he talks about going into Pakistan … if that’s what it takes.

    I think, like you, I have a hard time supporting any of them. I probably respect McCain the most. But, I also disagree with him at least as much as any other.

    I voted in the last couple. I voted Libertarian. Wouldn’t have if I thought they had a snowball’s chance. Just to much to attempt with out throwing out the baby with the bathwater. It was a protest vote and little else.

  2. Billary lies with a knife to the back. Governors usually make better executives than senators or congress folk. Libertarians rock except for that whole open borders thing. Borders, language and culture define a nation. Immigrants can assimilate into ours and still respect their own. Being a fiscal conservative, I have no candidate out there speaking for me. I’ll just go as right as I can.

  3. Obama ranks only above Huckabee in my list of possible candidates.

    I challenge those who support him to show me anything he’s done in his life. Give me an accomplishment that mattered to anyone’s life. He talks a great game, but we’re not voting for inspirational-speaker-in-chief.

    But if it’s Obama vs. Huckabee, I’ll join the Obama campaign staff!!!

  4. You know I think much of Obama’s appeal is his naivete. It’s a proven fact to me, at least, that the past prez who were part of the party machine have done more to hurt us than help us. Obama is a fresh face and his campaign slogan of “change” is right on the mark. I want to change a lot of things and I don’t think Hillary will change much. She owes too many favors and has always delivered on those.

    I think the thing that causes me most pain is our global reputation. Bush has made me embarrassed to be an American. Bush never represented me or my beliefs. Hope he enjoys his new retirement home in UAE.

  5. It was the Hulk Hogan endorsement that convinced you, wasn’t it?