With shovel in hand I began carve out of the earth a place for the casket of Obama's presidential bid. The idea of alligning one's self with a "religious leader" who spews such vitriole surely seemed the silver bullet. It was something I was not happy to see. I had already resigned myself to the idea that this election would not be about policy. I would not allow myself to get caught up in the debate over such meaningless issues such as banning gay marriage with a constitutional amendment with respect to a candidate. Rather I would recognize that this election is about PR and a God-head. America needs a pretty face. America needs to change its suit and paint its fence. Policy is not something soley defined by one man (hello congress) and as we have seen over the past 16 years a president is as much defined by his actions as by his looks and speech. More so by the economy. Lest we forget that Clinton benefitted from the Dot Com boom. Lest we forget that Clinton also wanted Hussein removed from power and did put forth policy to remove him. So while we, and justifiably so, look dourly upon the past 8 years and the quagmire of Iraq and the recession, blame on one man plays totally into the hands of the partisan politcal machine. Don't be cattle.
Now where was I......
So I resigned myself to the idea that America needs a new face. For years I had looked at all the parties (not just the big 2) and would vote based on what I felt was the best platform. Not this time. I would fall on my sword and be reborn as someone who I once hated. A person who voted for the pretty candidate. A person who voted Republican because of the religious right. A person who voted Democrat because they were in a union. Never did I consider that this rebirth would be something more critical and significant that the aforementioned reasons.
Neither party satisfies my conditions but I am a registered Republican. I am more moderate (a fiscal conservative and social liberal) and tended to fall closer to a Libertarian. But the idea of having a woman or a racial minority as president struck a chord in me. What message would this send about white, puritanical America? From a social perspective the ramifications would be, hopefully, something the world would see as progress. Such change could help with foreign relations. That is not to say we drastically change policy, but a new suit sure does make heads turn.
Our choices: a very liberal Obama and a Clinton. I was one who did not vote for but did support the first 6 years of Bill. But Hillary was simply too poll driven. Obama too new. In looking at what the Republicans had to offer I felt there was no way the elephants could take this. McCain is a great American and one who I supported with all my heart in 2000. He is more moderate and that is a good thing for the country though it appears not the party (good grief I can go on tangents).
So I'm bleeding on my sword and watching the mushroom cloud that is the Obama campaign. Then came the speech....
There are questions regarding his lack of specifics. There are questions regarding the idea of associating with someone so hateful and divisive. There always are questions. But what struck me more than anything else was that a black man, in a powerful position, in the Democratic party, was telling black citizens that racial tension goes both ways. That many whites feel animosity towards blacks blaming them when they have done nothing wrong. Whites have been saying this for years but to deaf ears. This sentiment can only be effective coming from a black man to the black community. At this the needle again pointed north.
Maybe Obama isn't the most qualified. Maybe he will need to surround himself with seasoned and more learned individuals (Bush). I can't help but see the potential for making domestic progress in race relations if Obama is elected. I could be wrong and I respect the counter argument. But I'm willing to sacrifice the next 4 years and put some faith in our leaders. I want my children and their children to live in a country where race is less of an issue and I believe this could be a big step forward for this country...away from the past.