Friday, August 29, 2008

Hopeless? Hope more.

When Clinton was President, I didn't worry much about our country. A lot of that can be chalked up to youth and inexperience and general apathy, but there was more to it than that. Our basic civil rights weren't in constant jeopardy. Our economy was strong. Higher education was looked at as something everyone should strive for and could achieve. And, I didn't worry because it seemed like the world generally liked us.

Cut to now, eight years after Clinton. Eight long years of Bush and his ilk. I thought the first four years were bad, but then half the American population disappointed me again and voted him back in for four more years of power. Bush's reign looks at renewable energy sources as the stuff of hippies, higher education as elitist and the Bill of Rights (except for the Second Amendment) as toilet paper. They've nurtured a culture of fear and that fear has become a curtain behind which Bush and his cronies are rolling around on piles of cash. Worse than that, though, is the way America now looks to the rest of the world. We're bullies. We're greedy. We're stupid. We're assholes.

Last night, I watched Barack Obama give a speech that echoes my feelings about the current administration, the direction it has taken our country and the place where we can and should be in the future. For the first time in ages, I felt inspired and hopeful and really believe that this man is exactly what America needs at this moment in our history.

Personally, I don't just want him to be our next President, I need him to be our next President. I can't take another four years of feeling like the America I love is degrading into something that doesn't make me proud. I can't take another four years of the status quo and backward thinking. If McCain is elected, I couldn't take knowing that over half of the people in my country thought that his ideas and policies - which are Bush's ideas and policies - are the best thing for the United States of America right now. And if you don't think that McCain's agenda isn't right in step with the Bush Administration, think again.

There will be those who say that McCain isn't a Bush/GOP puppet - he's got the Straight Talk Express, after all! Oh, really? Seem's the Straight Talk Express has derailed and taken McCain's ability to think for himself with it. Case in point:

McCain's Prickly TIME Interview

Published on Time Magazine's Web site yesterday, this interview does nothing for McCain, other than show the world that he's not the straight-talking man he was even a year ago. Here's an excerpt:
What do you want voters to know coming out of the Republican Convention — about you, about your candidacy?
I'm prepared to be President of the United States, and I'll put my country first.

There's a theme that recurs in your books and your speeches, both about putting country first but also about honor. I wonder if you could define honor for us?
Read it in my books.

I've read your books.
No, I'm not going to define it.

But honor in politics?
I defined it in five books. Read my books.

[Your] campaign today is more disciplined, more traditional, more aggressive. From your point of view, why the change?
I will do as much as we possibly can do to provide as much access to the press as possible.

But beyond the press, sir, just in terms of ...
I think we're running a fine campaign, and this is where we are.

Do you miss the old way of doing it?
I don't know what you're talking about.

Really? Come on, Senator.
I'll provide as much access as possible ...

The entire interview is an excellent read and very insightful regarding the state of affairs with McCain's campaign at this point.

As much as I want Obama to be our next President, I'm not getting my hopes up too much. My faith in American voters flew out the window four years ago, and I don't think it would surprise me to see ignorance prevail again. This is especially true given McCain's choice for a running mate - Sarah Palin, a 44 year-old conservative Christian woman governor from Alaska. She's young, she's conservative, she's devoutly Christian, she's anti-abortion, she's pro-ANWR drilling and, most importantly, she's a she.

I'll admit, demographically, Palin's a perfect choice for McCain's running mate, which is a little scary - the voters who are scared to vote for a black man will think themselves enlightened beings by voting for a woman. Then there will be those pro-Hillary feminists who for whatever reason (*cough* racisim *cough*) can't get themselves to vote for Obama, so they'll jump ship to McCain's dinghy which is now co-piloted by God and a woman. Those people will say it's his inexperience they aren't keen to, which I think is sort of a cop-out excuse.  Political experience is not the same thing as understanding or wisdom. It is but one element of what makes a good President, and other elements are equally important. It is in that spirit that I refuse to get too excited over Obama until the last vote is counted.

Even still...

... a girl can hope.

5 comments:

  1. but did you ever consider that obama is just telling you what you want to hear? don't get me wrong, I don't like mccain either but I think a lot of obama voters are up for a big disappointment. mccain voters know exactly what they are getting he is an old grumpy asshole, so there won't be any crushed dreams there.

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  2. What's wrong with getting to hear what I want to hear for a change, instead of having to listen to Bush and crew and cringing at what they'll say or do next? I think it's time for some soothing words.

    Is Obama the miracle some make him out to be? No, but I would sleep easier with him in charge instead of McCain. If Obama makes good on even one of his grand promises, that's better than McCain getting the chance to fuck us over for another 4 years. Hell, as long as Obama doesn't do a tenth of the shit Bush did, it's better than 4 more years of McSame.

    All politicians say what their constituents want to hear - that's the nature of politics. For the last eight years, I haven't liked a damn thing that's happened with our government, and for me, Obama and his words represent a welcome change.

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  3. I had somebody else ask me that same question. If Obama proves to accomplish 10% of what he is promising I will be ecstatic ... that will still be a huge shift from the last 8 years.

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