Friday, April 18, 2008


I heard a young man talk of hope, I was happy. He talked of Change, I was beginning to see the light. He claimed he wanted to bring politicians together to act in a non-partisan way for the American good, he was starting to capture my soul. He wanted to lead his fellow Americans towards a bright and glorious future. There was a palpable sense of Deja vu in the air. I was getting excited. I decided to keep my eyes on this man. I listened he sounded sincere as only the young can. In my heart this too could be another point in his favor.
--------The young man of course was Barack Obama. I started really looking at and listening to him trying to make a decision about him. What were his good points, what were his bad points. Being young is not bad in and of itself. By definition there is a presumption of lack of experience which has to be overcome. That too isn’t a handicap by itself and can be a blessing. Look at John F. Kennedy. In that man they were beautiful things. One needn’t look far to see the downside when that style is imitated in a cold calculated way. Visions of John Kerry leap to mind. Also youth and it’s lack of experience can bring with it at least the opportunity to be flexible to have an open mind, to be able to make decisions unencumbered with the baggage of old failed ideas. One has a freedom to set up a new metric in which to frame the decision process. This too can be good or bad and examples of each abound.
-------I had a decision to make, what metric would I use to frame my decision? I decided to look at what his decisions he had made in the past; that is all I had to go on to decide on the credibility of his promises for the future. Were his past actions consistent with what he is saying now? How has he handled the unavoidable bumps in the road that is American politics? I think that under scrutiny his past is not consistent with what he is saying now. A recent study showed that he is the most liberal member of Congress. I cannot think that would be a benefit in enabling him to better reach out across the divide to the other side. Will he disregard his past record? Will his record have nothing to do with how he acts in the future as a President? If he has changed what does this say of his character. Surely he doesn’t think that he will unite Americans by changing their way of thinking; especially if they think by his actions that he is not consistent in his own mind.. I think the “bitter” remarks are telling in this regard. The condescension was obvious. I feel he believes that if the people could just understand what he has to say that they would change their views. The condescension comes in the idea that if they don’t change their views, the problem lies in the fact that they are not able to understand him, not that his ideas might be wrong. It looked like to me the “bitterness” was in him. I felt a sense of frustration and "bitterness" as he tried to explain to a third party, his party elite, why a group of people would not come around to his views. The brashness of youth I can understand and even applaud for it’s energy and vitality; knowing that it will smooth out with experience, but the arrogance of youth I don’t have to put up with. I have that right.
-------One major problem I have with him is how hard he tries to be “one of the people” one of the unwashed masses, how he alone can understand what they want and desire. Hillary is not any better at the charade and probably worse. But so what? I don’t think the choice for who is to be the spokesperson for what is to be the "good of the American people" should hinge upon who is the greatest imitator of the everyday Joe or whomever, you pick a name. Again the key for me is whether a person knows himself and believes in himself enough to let us know who he really is; and not a person trying to give us only what he or she thinks we want.
-------Is he one of the underprivileged? No. Are the other candidates? No. Definitely not. So what’s the problem? Simply stated the other candidates don’t seriously try to come off as one the masses. Even Hillary with her corny accent realized people knew it as a weird joke. Is it wrong to having the candidates emulate the masses? Well again let’s look at JFK. He was never one of the lower class. Never wanted to be, never tried to hide his family’s success. Gloried in his personnel achievements. Looking at him one felt that he was comfortable with what he had, what his family was. In short, who he was. and we admired him all the more for it.
------ I don’t get that same feeling from Obama. I see only the downside of the attributes he could be using in a better way for the higher purposes he so eloquently at times talks of. Am I Bitter, no. But I do feel a sense of disappointment.
Regards, Live Dangerously

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