Monday, February 04, 2008

Yes, I Am For Obama!

Correction: I originally said that FDR made his famous quote "You have nothing to fear but fear itself" during one of his fireside chats. A reader, aznew, corrected me. FDR said it as part of an inauguration speech; so, I've changed it. Thank you alert reader, aznew
I have spent very little time on my own blog, writing about the candidate I support because I have been elsewhere defending the candidate who is not my first choice for the nomination, Hillary Clinton.

I've done this because I have very little patience for the Clinton bashers and even less for those who proclaim loudly that should she win the nomination, they will sit out the general election.

And I have less patience still for those on the Democratic side who want to refight the culture wars of the 1990s, using the rightwing attack machine's talking points to do so.

That needs to be said because far too many Democrats, especially on the blogosphere, have been too eager to tear down Hillary Clinton when they should instead be lifting up Barack Obama. You can't say you are for change or that you want to end the old politics of personal destruction while you are engaging in exactly the tactics you say you dislike. There's a cognitive dissonance there that leaves a sour, off key note on the ears of listeners.

At the same time, the Clinton fatigue which the country has experienced is all too real. It is time to move past it and to at least try to go beyond the partisan rancor of those days.

Barack Obama is the one Democrat who can do that.

The truth is he has the charisma that has been lacking in America's leadership for far too long. Now, when I speak of charisma, I am not talking about mere likability.

Unlike the frivolous media coverage of past election cycles, this is not a discussion about who is a more amiable good ole boy or who you'd like to have a beer with while discussing the Nationals' lineup for next season.

Real charisma has nothing to do with that sort of likability or even with charm.

Charisma is the rare gift of being able to articulate a vision for the future, to put into eloquent language the hopes and aspirations of a people. Charisma is what buoys us up when the tide of fear and despair threatens to sweep us overboard and drown us.

Think of FDR during the Great Depression when, at his inauguration, he told us, "You have nothing to fear but fear itself." Or Winston Churchill, who, in his inaugural speech in 1940, told the British public facing war with Nazi Germany that he had nothing to offer them but "blood, toil, tears and sweat."

Or John F. Kennedy who told us "The torch has passed to a new generation" And challenged us to "Ask not what your country can do for you , but what you can do for your country." And finally, Robert F. Kennedy who said, "Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not."

Obama has the same ability to inspire us to meet the challenges of a troubled future with courage and determination.

With an endless war miring us in Iraq, and the economy the worst it's been in years, we need somebody who can inspire hope, challenge us to fight for change, and give our dreams eloquent voice. We need a language of poetry and optimism. And Barack Obama can give wing to our aspirations.

As Proverbs tells us: "Without vision, the people perish."

With vision and hope, we will solve our problems and thrive. It's time for a leader with vision. So, I endorse Barack Obama!


Catzmaw said...

Thank you. This summarizes much of what I feel about the Clinton/Obama contest and why I decided to opt for Obama over Hillary. My decision is not based on right wing talking points. There is a lot I really like about Hillary's positions, but it's time for a major change - a transformational event - in our country's history. It's taking a chance because there is a lot about Obama we do not yet know - I'm speaking in terms of his ability to pull together the country and pursue progressive goals - but he is in a far better position to shed the old for the new. Hillary is articulate, intelligent, driven, courageous, and well-organized. But she's hampered by that big Billstone around her neck and her own existence as a consummate insider.

I started out willing to support Clark's candidacy. When he didn't run I decided that John Edwards most matched my position and supported him. Now with John Edwards out of the race I have to ask who is most likely to bring the necessary transformation of American politics - the shift back to the center and left from the right wing list the ship of state has been experiencing for so many years. My conclusion is that it must be Obama.

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Thank you Catzmaw for your insightful comments, as usual.

I obviously agree. We need a new leader and one who can inspire people to meet challenges with courage and hope.

A real, visionary leader is one who can get people to share the vision and be willing to walk through fire, if need be, to bring it to fruition.

I think Obama can be that type of leader.

Silence Dogood said...

AiaW, I felt so uplifted by your post. I understand that there's a lot of Clinton animosity out there, and I recognize that it was inevitable that those voters were going to find someone to rally behind eventually.

I appreciate that like everyone else, those voters who resent Hillary have a voice in the process, but while they chose my candidate to rally around, I can't say I respect their opinion.

By contrast, I respect the hell out of yours. I am proud to say that I appreciate Hillary Clinton's service to this country in the variety of roles that she has served--Lord knows it hasn't always been easy. I hope Hillary Clinton will remain an influential leader in the United States Senate for years to come.

But I am also just as proud to say that I will vote for Barack Obama.

Silence Dogood said...

PS, speaking of opinions I respect and disrespect, I noticed just now (because I finally got home from a very long day at work) that you backed an assertion of mine on another blog we both occassionally visit wherein I stated my disappointment with an argument put forward by a blogger who is otherwise frequently well-reasoned.

I would have posted my thanks in that thread, but apparently disagreeing with a disagreeable statement makes one a troll? So I thought I'd come by here to say thank you instead. You gain +4 Dogooder points. ;-)

AnonymousIsAWoman said...

Thanks so much Silence Dogood.

I am glad that I uplifted you. My aim in writing this post was exactly to support the most uplifting candidate in as inspiring a way as I could. I'm no match for him for eloquence, but I tried to emulate him. Isn't that the sincerest form of flattery?

I frankly am baffled by people who claim they support Obama because he is the candidate most likely to bring Democrats and Republicans together, and then go out and rip into fellow Democrats.

They are simply not convincing when they irrationally undercut their own arguments that way. And they run the risk of driving would be supporters away from their own candidate when they do this.

BTW, I was angry at the rating you were given because I thought your point was well taken. I really would have given myself a "troll" rating if I were allowed to rate myself (which you can't there).

And you're right, the person who did this stuff to you is usually one of the most brilliant, rational and tolerant bloggers and Democrats out there. So, his actions surprised me.