Thursday, February 21, 2008


People keep asking me why I'm voting for Obama. There are a myriad of reasons, but I'm not ashamed to say that top amongst them is that he is an amazing and eloquent speaker.

Because of that I experience a sort of real cognitive dissonance hearing people attack him for being a pretty talker. That seems to be the attack du-jour too.

Fuck. Whatever. Isn't it about time that we again have a president who is not only capable of putting together a logical and grammatical sentence-- but one who can bring us to tears (of joy and hope, not over-riding fear) in the process?

On NPR earlier this week presidential historian Douglas Brinkley said it best:

"There is no end to the power of words, in fact it's one of the most important things a president can do is inspire his constituents....The great speakers usually become great presidents...Lincoln...Theodore Roosevelt... Franklin Roosevelt...Kennedy... Reagan"

right. I hated Reagan. And I don't think he was a great president. But, I've said it before, he was a great orator, and that what made people believe he was a great president, and that is why he remains beloved in the hearts of so many Americans today. Brinkley was spot on with those others though.

OK. So you still want to know...what are the reasons I'm an Obama kind of girl? I'll give you a few that have been kicking around in my head

-His health care plan seems the more realistic to me. It's important to not make health insurance contingent on the absence of pre-existing conditions, and I can't see how mandating coverage is the same thing as what we traditionally think of as Universal Health Care. For that matter, Obama's is not either, but it's a step toward making it affordable, which is a step in the right direction. Compulsory insurance, even if it is a subsidized plan, is not. The insurance industry is still profit based system. I really have a problem with compulsory programs being made of profit based industries. (just like auto insurance!) Hillary's plan creates compulsory insurance, Obama's does not.
-He has opposed the war in Iraq since the beginning and is refusing to use fear mongering tactics in his campaign.
-He's the new guy. He represents change, which we desperately need.
-Though he's "only" a junior senator, he has lived abroad and this provides him an open-minded and much needed world oriented perspective.People say he has no foreign policy experience, but he is willing to talk and engage in dialogue, he has lived abroad... is there really any job that can prepare someone for the presidency of the United States? And really, how many of our previous presidents have extensive foreign policy experience? Experience will always be lacking in some area, that is why the presidency has a cabinet.
-Last week he showed up to vote on an issue critical to the civil liberties of all of us. He supported the people. He voted against immunity for Big Telecom in the FISA debacle (illegal eaves-dropping on citizens.) Where was Hillary? Out campaigning. She was the only member of the senate to not make an appearance for that vote.
-He has refused to take campaign money from lobbyists. Hillary says lobbyists represent Americans too. I think the lobby system, as established now, amounts to nothing more than legalized bribery.
-His plan to reform and
fund No Child Left Behind, his Zero to Five plan which will increase support and funding for early childhood education development and his plan to implement new college tax credits and make financial aid application process easier.

But mostly, he makes me believe in our power to affect change. He inspires me. He clearly inspires other people. I'm far more liberal than he is, but I'm far more liberal than most people I know. It came as no great surprise to me that on every "pick your candidate quiz" put out by the likes of NPR and other national news agencies, I was always most closely aligned with Kucinich.

I knew I would be from the beginning. I'm a raving lunatic, liberal. But I'm also passionate and hopeful. And I gladly throw my support behind the man who might not align perfectly with my radical beliefs, but who can win. And who can make us all feel good and proud and strong and hopeful along the way. I gladly support the man who has the power to restore my faith in idealism. And who just might be able to reach out to the rest of the world and restore their faith in us.

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