Saturday, September 6, 2008

A kind word (a political blog)

I have been looking forward to writing this post for some time. Relishing it, and really hoping I’d get the chance to write it, truth be known. Now that the conventions are over and I actually have a few spare minutes to do so, I will.

I would like to take a moment to thank the Democrats wholeheartedly for nominating Barack Obama to be President of the United States. He has already been an inspiration for millions of people, and I am confident he will continue to be, no matter how the election turns out. I’m also pleased about Joe Biden: when I listened to one of the Dem debates on NPR (which focused on the war and a couple “let’s bash Bush” questions), Biden and Dodd were the only ones who said some things I thought sounded reasonable and well-thought out. Good pick, Senator.

Now before my former Elders’ Quorum president prepares to welcome me into Development Sociology or my parents cry “I have no son!” ( *lol* ;-) ), let me reassure anyone who wants reassuring that this is not an endorsement blog. I made a promise to myself several months ago that if anyone but Clinton was put forward, I would be nice. I would make every effort to not only be civil, but to actively look for the good, to reach across the aisle, and to be supportive to the extent I could. Heaven knows, none of the four of them are my ideal. That said, one of my greatest hopes for this country is that whichever candidate is elected there may be some chance to repair some of the schisms that have been widening in this country over the last 40 years. That begins at home, and it might as well begin with me.

So let me take a moment to mention some things that I think are among Senator Obama’s good points without inserting a “but,” a “however,” or otherwise undercutting my sincere appreciation of a fellow who stands a good chance of being the next President. I present these not in any particular order, but just as they come to me.

Of the Democratic plans for health care, Senator Obama's was the only one that did not involve mandating/forcing people to get it. Making it more accessible and bringing it closer within reach of the poor I will grant is a lofty goal, and not forcing it down people's throats is a good thing. On health care, another interesting point worthy of note is that the McCain plan was drawn up by Obama's chief economist. There may actually be less daylight between them than one might suspect.

To the best of my knowledge, he is still married to his first wife. To all appearances, they've been making a success of it. This is an achievment in today's society, and something among the Republican challengers that only Romney managed.

The Obama tax plan calls for larger income tax cuts for middle-income Americans than the McCain plan. If you need to see that graphically, I can try to find the source material for you. I'm not sure how the graph would look if you included additional gasoline or environmental taxes.

Regarding how he reaches decisions, I think Obama presents a very pleasing picture. Like JFK, he surrounds himself with intelligent, experienced, well-trained people who know their own field. By comparison, Clinton airily dissed my profession (that translates as "disregarded insultingly" for Mom and Dad) when we dared say one of her economic plans was bunk; McCain admits to knowing nothing about economics, but has not improved on that admitted ignorance by gaining further education on it or listening when economists commented on some of his less-than-brilliant ideas; and our sitting President has largely surrounded himself with friends from Texas or his dad's staff, who with a few notable exceptions have left much to be desired. I tend to think that aside from the necessary political appointment, an Obama cabinet would be more professional and capable than what we've been treated to or would likely receive with McCain.

On the international side of things, Obama has an unusual good point. While I was in Denmark, I took the opportunity to ask one of my long-stnading questions: When's the last time you Europeans actually LIKED a sitting US President? I've only heard complaints during my lifetime, particularly while I lived in Germany and would regularly be hailed on the street by, "Have you heard what Your Clinton is up to now?" and never with any approval. So I asked a Dutchman if there were any president he liked while he was still in office, and the answer was JFK. I asked if that was because he was a jelly donut (you have to speak German to get that joke, but when he said, "Ich bin ein Berliner," that means "I am a jelly donut." Had he said "Ich bin Berliner" that would have meant he is a citizen of Berlin). No, it was because he talked about hope and human dignity. He had a noble, optimistic, inspiring bearing and could give a good talk. Unsolicited, the European in question then volunteered that Obama does the same thing. We might actually have a chance of electing someone the Europeans might like. That would be interesting to see in my lifetime. *chuckle*

There are others, but I think that's a decent starting list of good things about who he is, and some of the things he stands for and can do that I think are good. Again, this isn't an endorsement. There are many important qualities I look for and there's a lot to complain about on both sides. Today my point isn't to complain, but to praise.


Grandma Jule said...

Et tu, Derrill?


Actually, I think that is part of what scares me the most about this guy. There's a *lot* to like about Barak Obama. He's got a GREAT smile and a winning personality; like Sharem, "he is learned, and has a perfect knowlege of the language of the people, wherefore he can use much flattery and much power of speech" (as long as he has a tele-prompter); he inspires wonderful ideas and grand thoughts, and it's easy to believe him. I can see how he gets followers so easily.

And then a friend send me an email that included a satirical piece from a London newspaper, poking fun at the near-religious experience the Left seemed to be having with their new-found messiah, suggesting:
"And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant). . . that a Child appeared in the wilderness. . . .
And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: “Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?”

"And so it was, in the fullness of time, before the harvest month of the appointed year, the Child ventured forth - for the first time - to bring the light unto all the world." He speaks, and the terrorists lay down their weapons and the world is at peace; he lifts his arms to heaven, and global warming ends; and after his triumphant European tour, the angels descend from Heaven singing "Yes, We Can!"

And that's when it hit me.

Thanks to my dad, I'd always known I would live to see the last of the last days. And I was always fearful, because we are warned that the false prophets and the Anti-Christs will deceive the very elect. I've always been worried that I might be deceived. I've wondered if I would be able to recognize an Anti-Christ when I saw one.

Now I know! At least this first time, I have passed the test.

Which doesn't mean the man doesn't have a lot of good points. Lucifer was a Son of the Morning, and sufficiently persuasive to get 1 in 3 of God's children to vote for him!

Grandma Jule said...

(I still love you . . .

and I *do* know what "dissed" means . . . .)