Tuesday, June 03, 2008

How To Embrace Barack Obama Now That He’s The Democratic Nominee For President

It’s going to be hard for many of us who were rooting for Hillary to turn on the proverbial dime and immediately get behind Obama. But whether it takes us a few days, a couple of weeks, or the full five months between now and the General Election, Democrats and Independents will have to bite the bullet and do what’s necessary to end the crippling Bush era and institute important change. Here’s what I recommend:

Get a Grip – We simply cannot allow another Republican to hold court in the White House for four more years. John McCain says he is not a photocopy of Bush. Okay, let’s take him at his word. But he still believes that the War in Iraq can be “won” in the military sense of the word. He still believes that Roe v Wade should be reversed. He still can be counted on to fill future Supreme Court vacancies with conservatives. He still rejects the idea of universal health care, still refers to it as “socialized medicine.” He still believes that Americans are better off with less government support and assistance of all kinds. If you are middle class, working class, or poor, John McCain is not your friend.

Be Fair About the “Experience” Thing – It is indeed reasonable to say that a few years in the Chicago State House and another few years in the U.S. Senate do not comprise sufficient experience for the presidency. But Obama’s opponent is John McCain, a man with many years of experience – and still no clue about what life is like for most people in this country. We’ve also endured nearly eight years of “leadership” by a man who gave new meaning to the word unqualified, a moron who learned nothing from his C-average Ivy League education, his numerous failed business ventures, or his Governorship of Texas. He’s taken no counsel and has regarded all disagreement as treason. Obama is intelligent, well-intentioned and apparently willing to take seasoned advice. We should have faith that his best efforts will be to our advantage.

Focus on the Issues Instead of the Personalities – As a planet, a nation and a people, we are in crisis. Inflation/recession/the mortgage crisis, health care, the War, an energy crisis, education, climate change, immigration, Social Security/ Medicare/ Medicaid, civil rights, human rights, veterans benefits, the revival of the Gulf Coast, national security and other issues are coloring our lives and clouding our future. Do we want another conservative addressing (or ignoring) these challenges?

Enjoy and Participate in the Historic Aspect of Obama’s Candidacy – It’s no small matter that Obama will be our country’s first African American president. White privilege and perspective have guided America from the beginning, often with disastrous results. As a bi-racial person myself, I can assure you that the experience of a mixed heritage constitutes a wealth of insight into all sorts of persons, places and things. The time is right for a different perspective in American leadership. For this reason alone, Obama wants to do well, to do better than most others have done over the past 50 years. He wants to be what used to be called “a credit to his race.” We should give him the chance to do just that.

Consider How We’re Perceived Worldwide – Millions of people around the world and scores of foreign governments know about Obama, admire him and would regard his election as a sign that the idiocy of our foreign policy will be taken in hand and radically changed. We no longer have to be the Ugly Americans. Obama will have a unique opportunity to heal many wounds and open many doors.

Don’t Worry, Israel Will Still Be In Safe Hands – The Far Right doesn’t support Israel because they like Jews. They support Israel in an effort to protect Christian holy lands and maintain a secure and formidable democratic base in the most unstable region in the world. Obama knows we need Israel as much as Israel needs us. Whether or not he’s able to help resolve ancient animosities, I don’t believe he’ll throw Israel under the bus.

Join the Civic Renaissance – Obama has successfully engaged millions of previously disengaged people in the process of active citizenship. Now that having Hillary is no longer an option, we should support this new wave of political enthusiasm, especially if it’s in our best interest.
And a President Obama will be in our best interest, given the actual alternative. It would serve us to get used to that idea.

No comments: