Talking 'Bout My Generation

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Why Obama?

It's no secret that I have been and will continue to be a huge BARACK OBAMA supporter. I have donated to his campaign (which is entirely grassroots as he will accept no money from lobbyist with a personal agenda) and have recommended him as a candidate to practically everyone that I know (and some that I don't). But why? People always ask me WHY OBAMA? Why not Hilary or Edwards? Well, I would like to break down my reasons for you simply, but for a more in depth (and much more eloquent) argument, please take the time to read this lengthy and informative article from The Atlantic's December issue entitled "Goodbye to All That" but noted author Andrew Sullivan. I assure you, it won't disappoint. Now, on to my Cliff's Notes version...


#1)His image is iconic. Imagine yourself as a 15-year-old Iraqi boy. All you've known your whole life is your hate and contempt for a nation bred of ignorant old white men. But in 2008, you turn on your tv to see Barack Hussein Obama, a light-skinned black man elected President of the US. Everything you thought you knew about America changes in that very instant.

#2)He is real. When Obama takes a stance on something, you can tell he truly believes it. He isn't afraid to say the opposite of what others are expecting to hear. He doesn't do things simply because he knows he should to be liked or get elected, he does things because he believes in those things. He didn't not wear his American flag lapel pin because he wasn't patriotic...instead he chose to exhibit the qualities and actions of a true patriot and not simply rely on patriotic symbols to make him look good. He remains to be the only candidate who openly opposed the War in Iraq from its very beginning, but as Obama himself argued "I don't oppose all wars...what I'm opposed to is a dumb war."

#3) He is smart. There is no good way to illustrate the intelligence and wit of this man in a brief paragraph. The best advice I can give you is to listen and to read. He's taken the time to carefully lay out his plans for attacking America's biggest issues, and anyone can observe those to find a thoughtfulness and understanding that is unmatched by the other candidates in my opinion. He doesn't just say what needs to be done, but how to get it done, and why his way will work.

#4) He is humble. It's difficult to be in a position of running for public office, where everyday you are selling yourself, and still come off with a strong sense of self-effacement. While he does hold himself in high regard, he still is able to openly admit his flaws, but he doesn't bow down from them. Rather he uses them to humanize himself and overall strenthen his own character. He does not think himself better than any other, and he presents himself as a representative of the masses rather than someone born special to lead them. He is truly a man of the people, for the people. He is one of the few people to acknowledge that nothing is free from adaptation and susceptibility to change, not even one's faith.

#5) He is hopeful. He has not been jaded by the cruel realities of politics that come from years of failures in the Senate and elsewhere, and he is not afraid of the staunch Right-wing conservatives who stand in his way. While he has been living a political life for many years now, he has managed to stay predominantly out of the harsh crossfire and has delivered tangible results. His successful work in Illinois can be clearly noted. Sure, he is young and idealistic, but we must truly ask ourselves if this is such a bad thing. Believing is seeing results, afterall. I'd rather have someone that tried and failed than to hardly try at all.

#6) He is young. I myself am young, and I can appreciate someone that comes from a similar perspective. As much respect as I have for Hilary, she is simply an old woman. The key here really comes from the polarizing characteristics of the baby boom generation. Are you a hippie, or are you a conservative? It is from these beginnings that our nation has become so polarized by Red state and Blue state divisions. Obama, as he has said many times, represents the UNITED STATES, and he is the first candidate to refuse to cater to any inherent polarization of this nation. Moreover, he is the favored Democrat among Republicans and Independants alike, mostly because our younger generation is not so quick to apply one label to ourselves. We all wear many hats.

#7) He knows and believes in himself. A man of such humble and astonishing characteristics that truly believes in what he is doing and what he is capable of is simply a strong leader. We saw it in the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr., among countless others. Beyond his own charisma and eloquent speech, it is his way of getting others to believe in what he believes in that is so important. He acknowledges that in general, people "were satisfied as long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied; they were relieved—such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn’t seem angry all the time." He uses that to his advantage, foregoing impulse and instead relying on rational thought and in-depth knowledge to aid him in decision-making.

It is for these reasons that I strongly contend that Illinois Jr. Senator BARACK OBAMA would make the best president in 2008.
posted by Megan Anhalt at 10:40 AM


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