I bet that got your attention.
Back when we had eight candidates tripping over themselves for the Democratic nomination, I was a John Edwards supporter (Kucinich wasn’t viable). I felt that of the major candidates, Edwards’ views and plans most reflected what I wanted to see in a president – and besides, who can resist that charming North Carolina accent?
But I always had room in my heart for Barack Obama, too, ever since his stirring speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. The night of the Iowa caucuses, even as I mourned Edwards’ distant second-place finish, I watched Obama speak with a warm heart, daring to hope that such a man could give me, for the first time since I started watching CNN, a president I could be proud of. For the first time in my young life, I was witnessing something I had only heard about from my parents – the start of a movement.
Barack Obama continued to grow on me, wooing me with his strong speaking style and kind character, and by the time John Edwards dropped out I was more than willing to jump on board the Obama train. I smile when I see the above image on T-shirts and telephone poles. This isn’t just a political candidate – I’ve been involved in political campaigns for over sixteen years. This is a movement. My generation has its first big hero.
But hold on a second. Barack Obama isn’t a taller, older, Black version of me. He supports a stronger military, which I do not. He opposes same-sex marriage, which I do not. I disagree with him on matters that I consider to be rather significant.
What’s more, Barack Obama is a man. He is fallible. He is as capable of leading us into a disastrous war, robbing us of our civil liberties and alienating the rest of the world as our current president (if not as likely). And the more power you have, the easier it is to make bad decisions. So should we really be putting him up on this pedestal, trumpeting him as some sort of prophet? In fact, isn’t it dangerous for us to put so much faith in one man?
I know this isn’t exactly a term paper. I’m just curious to hear some other thoughts on the matter.
Admin Edit 6/24/08: Added “capable” as corrected in comment #7 below.