Monday, December 10, 2007

The Case for Obama

The 2008 presidential election is quickly approaching and the front-runners are beginning to distinguish themselves. Most of the people I talk to either like the electability and savviness of Hillary or the two-Americas politics of John Edwards. (No one I respect or at least talk to is thinking Republican.) While I think that both candidates are worthy of my vote, I have decided to back Barack Obama. (I even bought Obama '08 winter hat to show this support.)

Since December is known for its top ten lists (or top-31 in some cases), I have compiled my top-ten reasons why we should all support Obama.

10. He's not a Republican.
I know that this fact does not separate Barack from Clinton and Edwards, but it does separate him from the currently incompetent administration. We have seen the mess left by Republican control in both Congress and the White House. Imagine if all the important changes Congress is currently trying to push through would actually stand a chance of not being vetoed. Anyone remember the last Dem we had in the White House? He did a pretty nice job of keeping the government in the black and projecting a positive image of the US around the world. Let's put another Democrat in office, and Barack Obama is the best of the bunch...

9. Obama will talk with world leaders.
Making demands and threatening military action has only weakened our country's standing in the world theater. Obama will sit down with other leaders and collaborate to solve social, environmental, and economical problems. Imagine that: a president who will (and can) discuss solutions with leaders instead of making demands.

8. The other Democrats have not separated themselves from Obama.
Edwards biggest draw is his commitment to the poor and disenfranchised. Obama makes the same promise. Clinton is smart and electable. Obama is right there with her. Why not give the vote to someone who has the same skills and policies as the other leading Dems but not the same cynicism as those who have been in Washington, which brings me to...

7. Obama is new to Washington.
Many people point out that Obama's biggest weakness is that he is inexperienced. Well, if he's inexperienced in misleading us into a war we can't win, setting us back 50 years in the civil rights movement, or allowing the super rich to continue to mount wealth while others struggle just to get by, then I'm OK with that. He is a breath of fresh air in a political scene that is wrought with special-interests and corruption.

6. Obama's race is important.
What I mean by this is that we have an opportunity to elect a person of color for the first time in our country's sad, racist history. Sure, this doesn't erase the decades of institutionalized racism, but it's a start. And who better to address the largely-ignored issues of African-Americans than a person of color. Imagine the message it would send to brown-skinned people in this country and around the world, if the most powerful nation in the world was led by a black man? This is an important opportunity for the US and we can't afford to miss it.

5. Oprah loves Obama.
No other person in this country has more influence (outside the White House) than Oprah Winfrey. This morning on NPR there was a report about Oprah's effect on the the Obama campaign. A woman who said that she normally votes Republican drove hundreds of miles to an Obama event. She claimed that it was mostly to see Oprah, but she also felt that Barack Obama was a better candidate than any of the Republicans. And this was in the south! I'm not saying that we should vote for Obama because Oprah said so, but you have to realize the amount of influence she will have on white soccer moms all over the country. That makes him pretty electable.

4. Barack Obama is charming and good-looking.
Again, this is more of an electability issue, not a reason to vote. All I have to say is look here.

3. Obama has solutions for the poor and uninsured.
Like I mentioned before, Obama will address largely ignored segments of society by providing a health care system that is truly inclusive and by helping to end poverty. He wants to break the stranglehold health care providers and the drug companies have on the American system by offering affordable alternatives and by containing rising costs. He sees how the minimum wage and lack of resources have allowed for generational poverty. His plan to provide funding and resources and to raise the minimum wage are crucial to fighting poverty.

2. Obama is the right candidate to deal with foreign affairs.
Barack Obama has opposed the war from the beginning and he has a plan to get us out of Iraq. He plans to work through diplomacy and cooperation with Iraq's neighbors as well as the United Nations. In addition, he will speak intelligently with the leaders of other countries. We need a new ambassador to the world that will improve our country's image. Someone who will embrace new ideas and collaborate with his contemporaries is what we need in the White House, and Obama is that man.

1. Obama is inspiring.
No other candidate has breathed this much fresh air and excitement into a stagnant Washington since John and Bobby Kennedy. He writes of hope and gives speeches that stir Democratic conventions. He is the biracial son of an immigrant. He is the first black man with a legitimate shot at the presidency. Everything about this man screams "change for the better".

All of this is coming from a guy (me) who voted for Nader and wishes Kucinich was more electable.

I know that I am not the most persuasive of political writers, but I have yet to hear anyone who has a reason why I should not vote for Obama and choose one of the other candidates. He is something that Washington hasn't had in a long time, if ever. He is both inspiring and capable enough to save our country from the terrible direction in which we are heading.

I'll probably vote for whomever wins the Democratic nomination, but my heart will be with Barack Obama. Vote Obama in '08!


KR said...

I have not decided who I would like to see the Democrats nominate. I do like Obama very much, but I have a reason, albeit a strange reason, not to vote for Barack: to protect him.

Whoever comes next in our presidential line-up--white, black, man, woman--is going to get F'd. It's just a fact now. The Bush Fauxministration has left everything in shit, and I feel bad for whoever comes next. (and I feel bad for us)

I don't want Republicans and/or racists to make up ammo like "well this is what happens when we have a man of color in office".

Similarly, although not at all to the same degree, I don't really want Hillary in there, because I'd like to hope we can have a woman president someday. Even if I think the Clintons might be able to help our situation on the international scene, I don't want to jeopardize long-term progress to equal-opportunity elections in the future.

What do you think?

comoprozac said...

I get what you're saying. I just don't think we have time to wait. The time for change is now. It's going to happen, whether it's Obama, Edwards, or Clinton.

Jenna Raby ( said...

Change, the only constant. Thank God. More of the same would kill us.

Mom said...

I can't help but think that Oprah jumping on the band wagon could also be a detriment to Obama's campaign - there are still so many closet racists out there. I think she is bringing race into the campaign, rather than he is the best man no matter what. I'm seeing another Jack/Bobbie Kennedy in Obama, which is good for us if he can live through it. I don't mean to be negative - just thinking of history repeating itself unfortunately. The same could be said for Hillary being the first woman - a lot of misogynists out there! Let's hope one of them makes it.