Thursday, January 10, 2008

Am I missing something?

Posted by Teresa at 4:08 PM
One of the phenomenons that has come out of this election so far has been rise of
Barack Obama. His supporters show such enthusiasm and excitement. He's charasmatic
and inspirational. I have never in my lifetime heard a politician speak like him.
I'll admit it is hard not to get to sucked into. I've bought his book, "Audacity of Hope"
and even signed up on his Web site to volunteer in his campaign a while back. They
never did call me so that might say something about them having enough people signing
up or I live in Texas and he's really not looking to spend time campaigning here. Now that
I've been following him sometime now, I'm starting to reevaluate his message.

First, I want to take his message of "unity." In his Iowa victory speech Obama said,
"We're choosing unity over division."

This type of message gives him a crossover appeal that garners Independents and
even Republicans. But then one has to ask what causes should the American public
unite behind? And what happens to people who don't agree with those particular
causes? Dennis Prager asks more questions about Obama and his unity message:
Take any important issue that divides Americans and explain exactly how
unity can be achieved without one of the two sides giving up its values and
embracing the other side's values.

Barack Obama wants American troops out of Iraq now. About half of America
believes that American troops abandoning Iraq will lead to making that country
the world's center of terror and to the greatest victory thus far for the greatest
organized evil in the world today. How, then, will Mr. Obama achieve unity on
I wonder if unity is always a good thing? Don't the anti-Iraqi war proponents argue
because our country was so united behind President Bush after Sept. 11 they
couldn't dissent because they would be called unpatriotic. I'm starting to believe we
need political civility and not unity. My problem is not with all the different political
views out there, it's with the people who character assassin and smear their political
opponents that bothers me. I'm bothered by people who call General Petraeus "General
Betrayus" because they use mean-spirited tactics rather than any disagreement.
To Obama's credit he has led a civil campaign even though Sen. Clinton has tried to
draw out his claws.

Another running theme in his campaign has been "hope." Again, it makes you ask the
question "Hope in what?" Last year he said something at a church that didn't sit
well with me. Here's what he said:
He finished his brief remarks by saying, "We're going to keep on praising
together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth."
It might have just a been just a poorly worded slip. I don't know. I believe this
statement could signify his hope lies in government and people. In his Iowa victory
speech Obama defined hope:
Hope is what I saw in the eyes of the young woman in Cedar Rapids who works
the night shift after a full day of college and still can't afford health care for a
sister who's ill; a young woman who still believes that this country will give her
the chance to live out her dreams.

Hope is what I heard in the voice of the New Hampshire woman who told
me that she hasn't been able to breathe since her nephew left for Iraq; who still
goes to bed each night praying for his safe return.
He defined hope by things government can do. In his first example hope is (I'm
assuming that is what he suggesting) found in the government helping pay for the
health care of the young woman's sister and also her college education. In the second
example he's saying that hope is found in getting our troops back home. You might
agree with him that our government should help pay for more health care, education,
and bring our troops home. However, should hope be found in government solutions?
As a conservative, I try to root for less government involvement unless when it
comes to national security. I don't find hope in more government to solve our problems,
I find absolute disappointment over and over again in our government. Also, I don't find
any hope in the will of the people because sometimes the majority of people might be
wrong. American independence and freedom is what I hope in.

I like Obama. He's a great communicator. One of the roles of the president is to
communicate a clear message. I think that has been one of the biggest flaws of
Bush administration. However, I'm not clearly buying Obama's unity and hope
message. Maybe I'm missing something?


Anonymous said...

I'm a big Obama supporter and part of the reason is that he's willing to believe that things can be different (at least that's what he says). The singular moment to knocked Clinton down for me is when she talked about Obama not being capable of bringing about all the change that he promises. At that point she isn't disagreeing with him - she's decided to dial back her expectations because of barriers to change. I think that's where hope comes in - I think we can suspect change is difficult, but we can also keep hoping that it's possible - does that make sense?

As for unity - who's to say how any of the hot-button issues will play out - I think what is important is to decide at the very beginning that there isn't a democratic government and a republican government but a U.S. government - and that the President needs to be the President and not the Republican President or the Democratic President.

The reality of being a politician in this country is that compromise is necessary to be effective. I have never felt that the Bush administration would ever compromise with liberals such as myself. I want a President that wouldn't disregard the thoughts of so many people so easily.

Great blog - I'll make sure to visit again.

Teresa on 7:11 PM, January 14, 2008 said...

Hi speener,

Thanks for your comments. Please do come visit again:)

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