I think Barack Obama is the embodiment of a great idea. Tonight was an amazing and historic night! It was definitely a proud moment in our country’s history. And I’m glad I got to bear witness to it. But I think it’s a testament to the progress that has been made on race relations that the most important considerations about Obama’s candidacy are what his qualifications are, what his promises are, and what his character is not just the magnetism of his charisma or the historicity of his nomination.
I love the idea that ‘yes we can’ solve the problems plaguing our nation. Change is a compelling, even contagious idea. The romance that seems to surround this campaign comes down to that illusive holy grail. It’s almost like he’s painting a picture of Camelot and inviting us all to have a place at the round table with he and Michelle. Unfortunately, while it is a lovely idea, Camelot never existed and neither has utopia.
I can’t argue that some of his issues aren’t spot on: our education system isn’t getting it done, the tax code could use a little rethinking (understatement of the century), the war in Iraq should be ended sooner rather than later, the health care system could be better, the economy sucks, there is a class system in America and on the whole, lifelong politicians just don’t get it because they are completely disconnected from life in America. I admit that I gave him a few ‘amens’ and ‘uh huhs’ as I sat here on my couch listening.
But as much as I agree with him on the long list of things that are broken. . . I can’t see my way to agree with his lightly sketched solutions and I certainly can’t follow the math that he can pay for all the promises he offered by elminating wasteful spending (which he won’t do, they never do) and taxing the rich.
As much as I really do like the man, I just can’t shake my concerns about him and the changes he is promising and what they might mean to the future of America. I have wondered through the years how much one President can really help things or screw them up. The older I get the more I realize that often it’s not really the specifics they do as much as the values and beliefs that trickle down into the ethos of the nation.
So, here’s my Top 3 worries about a potential President Obama at the moment. . .
1. Media’s crush on him – There is an enormous chasm between what I see happening and what I see covered in the media. For example, I thought tonight he offered a pretty good speech and he did as well as he usually does but I didn’t feel the ground move. But I just heard the editorializing journalists use terms like “soaring”, “masterpiece”, and “not just a speech but a symphony” (I’m not even sure what that even means). I’m curious if the CNN Fact Checkers are working because he was playing fast and loose with some assumptions toward the end there but I didn’t hear any of the journalists questioning the credulty of his claims. Isn’t that their job? I mean one of them actually had tears in their eyes!
2. His neo-Marxist leaning philosophies – Penalizing companies for making too much profit smacks of Marxism. His comment about reasons why WE “cling to religion or guns” as a response to our frustrations, is a rewrite on the Marx quote “religion is the opiate of the people.” The Marxist leaning also shows in his choice of church attendance. Now, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he missed all those outrageous sermons of Rev Wright’s and I accept he rebuked those specific messages but somewhere in 20 years, he had to pick up on the black liberation theology that church is built on. It’s inherent in the value system and mission of the church posted on their own website and it’s very much based on Marx’s philosophies.
3. He’s more pro-abortion than I could ever be comfortable with. Now, I’ve never been a militant “abortion as a litmus test” kind of pro-lifer but I do believe life begins at conception. And that the value of a life is not dependant on whether it is wanted or not. Everyone knows Obama is the most liberal Senator in congress so it’s not surprising to know he voted often to protect ‘a woman’s right to choose’. However, he even voted against banning partial birth abortion and didn’t vote for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act which is meant to protect infants born alive after a botched abortion. And frankly, his “it’s above my pay grade” answer to Rick Warren’s question about when a baby gets human rights was a well-rehearsed and unbelievably cowardly cop out. He has a position. He knows we know he has a position. Why not just say it? Either he’s a ‘say whatever you have to’ politician or he doesn’t value the opposing view enough to engage them in a dialogue. Whichever, that answer showed a lack of leadership and honor in that moment.
To all my friends who are enthusiastic Obama supporters. . .I should tell you I’m jealous. I wish I could find any politician who I believed in as much as his supporters believe in him. I’m really not a hater! I was going to list some things I really love about him (and there are alot) but I’ve rambled too long as it is. It’s still a couple months till the election so I’m sure there’s time!