If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, or if you know me in person, you probably know I am supporting Barack Obama for the Presidency. Here are the multiple reasons why:
I like his domestic policy ideas better. I used to be a Libertarian and was very much in favor of smaller government and believed that it was the church’s and individuals’ jobs to help people, pay for medical expenses, feed the poor, clothe the naked, house the homeless, etc. But in the past couple years I have become rather disillusioned with the church as a whole and while I still believe that it is the church’s job to do these things, I realize the church is, largely, not doing them. And so I have come to accept government intervention in these things. I have privately even gone so far as to seriously consider socialism, and I’m not entirely sure I’m not a socialist right now. I passionately believe that the poor must be considered, the sick must be cared for, the helpless must be helped. And while I try to do my part as an individual, I believe that as a country we have forgotten how to think of the larger good over ourselves. And I believe that a liberal governing style, even hints of socialism, as John McCain is now claiming, might help us remember. I do not begrudge anyone their riches, but at the same time I do not mind paying taxes so that people without health care can have it, or that people without food can be fed. I believe universal health care, spending on education, incentives to attend college, and other tenets of Obama’s domestic policy are necessary things at this point, and while I still believe the Constitution is a great document I believe that there must be room for it to change as the world changes.
I like his international policies, largely in the area of the military, better. I believe the troops should be absolutely pulled out of Iraq as soon as possible. I don’t believe we ever should have been there, and I believe that our resources are much better used elsewhere, such as Afghanistan (if I had my say, we’d pull out of there too, but I realize that bin Laden is someone who needs to be caught and Al Queada is a movement that needs to be stopped, not just for our sake but for the sake of those oppressed by them in the Middle East). I believe that the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war is a seriously misguided and murderous policy, and the mindset of America as the world’s police force needs to change immediately. I believe that talking to other leaders, even of enemy countries, is a good idea, and that diplomacy can bring about change that war cannot. Let me say here that I have friends in the military, even one in Iraq right now, and I absolutely support them and will always do so. However, that does not mean, nor do I think it has to mean, that I support the current (and future if McCain is elected) policy towards using force in other countries.
I want an America-hating Muslim who is friends with terrorists in the White House. By the way, did you know he wants to kill every Christian? I think I heard that somewhere.
I believe Obama represents the kind of image this country needs to put out right now. In a book that influenced me quite a bit, The Architecture of Happiness, the author talked about how we should build in a way that represents the best we can be; in a way that inspires us to be better. I believe it is the same way with Barack Obama. I believe he represents a change in policy and philosophy and will begin to turn the opinions of people across the world back to liking America and Americans. When they see that we have elected a half black, half white man of a single mother, who is well-educated, well-spoken, even-tempered and thoughtful, and nuanced, I believe they will see the best about America. They will see that this is a country where anyone can be anything, regardless of race or background. I believe that if we elect Obama, Americans will be inspired to be better. Call it blind optimism if you will, but I really do believe that.
I believe that he represents my Christian ideas well. I believe that his faith is a real one, and that he recognizes a call to help the poor, care for the sick, be peaceful, and love others. I believe that his nuanced position on many issues is in line with how a Christian should live, and I believe that in hot-button issues like abortion his thoughts on lowering abortion numbers through better education and care for mothers will be much more successful than the current stereotypical Christian position of trying to get abortion made illegal. I believe that Obama understands that life is sacred and so supports rethinking the death penalty, lowering the numbers on abortion, and not sending soldiers to war unnecessarily. I believe that Obama understands what it means to be a Christian in this world, to live as peacefully as possible and to try to understand others’ points of view but still be able to discuss your beliefs in a complete and deep way.
I believe that it is important for a black man to be elected president. As I have learned more and more recently about my position of white male privilege, I am longing for the day when someone like Barack Hussein Obama, who is of mixed race, with a Muslim name, directly related family in Africa, and a single mother, can be elected President. I believe that electing a black man to the Presidency will be a major turning point in our country, and will give momentum to history that will eventually see white and black women, hispanic men and women, asian men and women, and every other race and gender elected as President, and I think that will be a very good thing.
I believe that Obama has the temperament needed in a President. He is largely calm, collected, and thoughtful, and is well-spoken and can be passionate about what he believes in. He does not seem to be prone to fits of rage or rash judgement like John McCain is. I believe that his choice of Biden as a running mate, someone who does not agree with him on everything and who will challenge him to be a good President, shows far better judgement than picking a thoroughly inexperienced state governor after meeting her one time and absolutely not vetting her like she should have been. I believe Obama has the sort of mindset we need in the leader of the free world.
Seriously, the Sarah Palin pick is almost enough on its own to make me not vote for McCain. I think it shows a serious lack of judgement on his part, and when one takes into account the disgusting display of muzzling the press, hiding from interviews, and lying time and time again about things that have been proven multiple times to be false, the idea of a McCain/Palin White House is honestly frightening.
I believe that the Republican party needs to be torn down to its foundations and reconstructed. I am completely against the party being hijacked by Religious Right fanatics, who see in Palin their promoter and savior. I believe in a secular national government, and while I don’t mind a President being a Christian, I don’t see it as a necessity and would be fine with a Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or Atheist President. I don’t believe that the national government should have anything to do with religion one way or another, and I am discouraged when I think about the ruling party in the country being led, if McCain dies, by someone who is part of a large group as fanatical and absolutely intolerant as the Religious Right.
I believe in freedom of the press and personal freedom. Palin has given fewer than five interviews since being chosen as the running mate, has refused to cooperate with lawful investigations, and at recent rallies has used security to keep the press in attendance from interviewing people in the crowd. This is a scary thing, and it very much shows flashes of the kind of governments we usually decry–China, Cuba, Russia, etc. Obama, on the other hand, seems to be open and honest about his life, his faults, his beliefs, and his faith.
Obama’s campaign uses much cooler fonts and has better t-shirts and graphic designers. In all seriousness, I do like how Obama’s campaign seems to be run so much better than McCain’s.
People say Obama is inexperienced. First of all, I think you can throw that argument out the window after the Palin pick, but I think the way he has run this campaign has shown him to be organized, tenacious, and politically smart. Sort of the qualities you might want in a President. He began the primaries as a serious underdog to Hillary Clinton, and built a grassroots campaign that saw more individual donations than any other candidate in history. He ran his campaign smoothly, took on the Clinton machine, and beat them without ever making any major mistakes. He has since shown the same qualities and campaign management in his race against McCain. The way he has run for President shows, I believe very strongly, that he is ready to be President right now.
So those are some reasons I support Barack Obama for President. I realize that he is not the Messiah (no matter what Louis Farrakhan says), and that he will not be able to do everything he says he will do if he is elected. I am a realist. However, I do believe in hope and I do very much believe that he is the best choice for President. I am excited by the potential of his presidency, I like the passion and interest in politics he has brought about in people my age, I like that people are registering to vote for the first time just so they can vote for him, and I am very optimistic about what an Obama presidency would look like. I hope you’ll consider voting for him too.