I am actually going to do something that I haven't done in YEARS. Just write a blog. Hmmm....
This began as an email to my very dear friend DG, but I don't think she deserved to have my politically charged, moderately liberal inspired idealism distract her from her chilly Friday morning at work. So I'll share with everyone in blogger land instead.
I am enamored with Barack Obama. He is highly intelligent and can say more than 2 syllable words as well as pronounce difficult foreign leader's names (unlike the current "commander" in chief.) That may come from years of others mispronouncing his own unique name, and now that I have married into a name that no one can ever get right, I appreciate it even more.
I enjoy seeing Barack thinking before he speaks, even going as far as writing it down so he won't forget, as opposed to just thinking about what he wants to say next, which is what the rest of us are usually doing when we're conversing. After which, he puts his pen down so he can then continue to actively listen to his opponent, usually Ms. Clinton, when they are in the throws of debate. That is something my husband has done in the past, whether at work, or a mediation meeting during our custody case. The mediator complimented him several times for this by the way, as it was rare to see in a supposed "intimidating" man such as my husband was claimed to be many a time during that whole process.
So, maybe it's because Obama shares that trait with my own wonderful husband, or perhaps because it is such a rare trait among politicians, but I really am impressed with that quality. You know, thinking....processing....listening before speaking. As my husband says from his military experience in the field with a radio, we must all learn to "Think...Push....Talk." Never break up that order or you will find yourself in a potentially precarious position.
Or perhaps it comes down to the fact that since our forefathers risked their lives to be treasonous against their own mother country, all for the hope of something better...well that whole HOPE thing really strikes a chord with me. My husband has a book written by a General in the Army (I believe it was a general) several years ago called Hope Is Not A Method. I would like Obama to prove him wrong. Hope is the one thing Pandora left in that box for all of us. And as old as history Hope has been the one thing that has saved humanity in the most horrific afflictions we impose on each other. It was audacious of Barack to think we were ready for hope now, but I really believe we are. That's why the following is so huge for his movement. We want to hope again, to dream again, to live in the present moment while preparing for the future again. We are tired of living in the fears of the past.
I also think it's so past time for there to be diversity in gender or race in the oval office, and it's embarrassing that there will still be people (both democrats and republicans) voting against these fine candidates solely based on that reason. Although I try to give our country a break, as we are only a few hundred years old compared with other democracies who have broken down some barriers there. And as far as our forefather's vision, I'm so glad DG mentioned that to me yesterday, because that's precisely the main reason I first decided for Obama.
I think it's odd when people mention his lack of experience. He has had more experience in congress than our first president had. I think the forefathers envisioned a country where there weren't lifetime career politicians. Where the average man of humble beginnings could grow up to be president. I don't think they would be very happy with the lobbyists and politicians "in bed" together (sorry McCain I don't really mean that literally!) or with special interest groups funding politicians to have their needs/wants/best interests represented over those of the people. And if we need to elect someone less experienced in all those things to get there, then that's a good thing.
I have also continued to hear the concern expressed that no one really knows what Barack is for. Well....you can find his blueprint for America, as well as his stance on every issue here-
I think all the candidates are actually easier to track with this wonderful thing called the Internet. There's one to add to the plus side of the pros/cons list.
And in the interest of fairness here are the links for the other three candidates on both sides of the contest:
One person recently mentioned to me that they are concerned that they heard that one person Barack idolizes (their term not mine as I hadn't heard about this) a Communist. Frankly, this is an old fashioned fear that I really thought we got over with the collapse of the Berlin Wall and former USSR. Maybe it's because I grew up with that wall ever present in my thoughts, or maybe it's because the red scare of the 50's was so important to me growing up in the theatre. I couldn't imagine a culturally broad crowd mentality ready to string up folks in the liberal entertainment industry, blacklisting and deporting of hundreds (thousands?) of people simply because they went to a meeting about communism. Although...I was alerted to similar happenings here after 9/11 involving Muslims when I read Eat Pray Love.
Now this may put me on some scary GWB DHS list of citizens with concerning viewpoints....but I'm not ever overly concerned about communism or socialism or religious diversity.
As far as socioeconomic philosophies, I think communism and socialism are actually very lovely in theory (everyone gets a fair share.) I also feel regretably that, when mistaken as a form of government they then fall privy to the pitfalls of all governments, including the one we hold near and dear, with horrible corruption. Unfortunately, any governments, or philosophies differing in theory from our own have been subject to tons of propaganda from our capitalistic point of view that they are all forms of fascism or dictatorship, which by the way are not all mutually inclusive with communist or socialist theory.
In light of the fact that we are living in a free country, I should be allowed to consider, think about, discuss any form of government /philosophy without having my patriotism questioned. That's one of the most beautiful things about a democratic society. The right to be heard without the worry of persecution.
I've also heard folks say they're concerned Obama's dad was a Muslim. The fact that we're still so prejudice in the country against Muslims is another side effect of Bush's regime. As a Unitarian Universalist, I embrace the good in all world religions as well as shun the bad in all world religions. The Islamic religion, the original deal, is actually one of the most beautiful, accepting, women empowering religions in all of history. And Jihad has nothing on the long and sordid history of women oppressing, bashing all other religions, torturing people til they convert- Christianity. ALL the major world religions have underlying beautifully similar messages- mostly the ever present "Golden Rule". And ALL world religions have at one time or another been used to oppress and torture people.
In other words, “As long as there has been one true God, there has been killing in his name.” ~The DaVinci Code
So there you have it. My thoughts on this crazy thing we call politics. And why, though I have been proud at times, and disgusted at others, both grateful and privileged as well as concerned and overwhelmed, while I have enjoyed the freedom to work to raise awareness on causes near and dear to my heart, while I have always known I was fortunate to be born in this amazing land of opportunities...
for the very first time in my 39.8 years on this planet...I am excited to be an American.