A Letter of Support for Barack H. Obama

Written by  //  February 15, 2011  //  TIMES  //  No comments


A View Into the Mind of a Young American in the Election Year, 2008

I know that everyone has their own personal beliefs about politics, candidates, and what is good for this country. This election year seems to have brought this element to the forefront of many “water-cooler” discussions at work and casual chats in the supermarket check-out line. Everyone has an opinion, and I’d like to share mine with you.

After researching the candidates (especially Mitt Romney, as we share a religion), I’ve decided to wholeheartedly support the candidacy of BARACK OBAMA. If, at this point, you’re somehow strongly against having him as our next president, you probably can forego reading this and move on to other things. If, however, you’re somewhat undecided or even feel uniformed about this man and his efforts to change our country, please read on.

I’d like to start by defending his “youth” and “inexperience,” as these are two items that I think most people use to attack Obama. He looks young, yes, but the man will be 47 by the time he takes office. Lincoln was 52, Grant was 46, Garfield and Cleveland were 49 and 47, Teddy Roosevelt was 42, FDR 51, and, of course, Kennedy was only 43. So hopefully that dispels any qualms about age.

As for inexperience, it is my thinking that a person who doesn’t have a lot of years in Washington (time to get all buddy-buddy with the people there) is exactly the kind of person that we need there to start cleaning house. You might not know this, but Obama has flat out refused ANY donations from lobbyists or PECs. His candidacy is completely free of political interest group interference. He’s on his way to becoming a powerful catalyst of change in Washington and it’s largely due to his “lack of experience” there.

Here’s some of what Obama stands for, and perhaps some of these ideas might appeal to you:

He once said, “I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country.”

He’s developed what he calls “The $17,000 Plan.” This basically means lowering the top tax bracket from $110,000 annually and above to include individuals that make $17,000 less than this, $93,000 annually and above. In one year, this tax shift would eliminate the national debt.

His campaign slogan is, “I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington… I’m asking you to believe in yours.” ….which I think is a statement that cuts right at the heart of what is plaguing Washington: individuals that have usurped the power of change from the people.

I’ve thought a lot about how many similarities there are between Obama and Abraham Lincoln, and interestingly enough, how one’s actions directly affected the other’s opportunity to run for president in this nation. Both lawyers and legislators from the state of Illinois, Lincoln and Obama not only felt strongly about bipartisanship, but frequently acted up their beliefs in working with the opposite party. Lincoln appointed his opponents to be members of his cabinet. Obama, in the same spirit, delivered the following remarks at the Democratic National Convention in 2004:

“The pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them too… We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

Doesn’t that remind you of the “united we stand, divided we fall” attitude of Lincoln? I mean, let’s face it, whether we’re divided by the Mason-Dixon line or the center isle in congress…. division is what is going to tear this country apart (by definition). Obama is ready to unite the parties in the service of this country, and to do so on some of the most important issues. If you happened to watch the State of Union address on Monday, the response from the senate hall made one thing very clear: the two parties are vehemently divided on issues that they ought to be feverishly cooperating to solve.

 It’s time for change in this country. I don’t believe Hillary is as interested in change as she is in power. I don’t think McCain or Edwards have the panache it’s going to take to fix the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. And, sadly, I don’t think that Romney is as stand-up of a guy as we’d like to think that he is or would be (you can ask me why I feel this way, if you’re interested – it’s actually pretty disappointing).

As for McCain, let’s compare Washington D.C. to a really old car, one that’s on the brink of blowing up in our faces:

McCain has done good for this country, there is no question about it. As a Senator he was one of only two republicans to opposed Bush’s tax-cuts at a time when the government had no business cutting taxes (especially for the wealthy). He was the chief proponent of an anti-torture bill (actually called “The McCain Act”) which was directed at cracking down on all of those torture scandals and Guantanamo Bay rumors. See, he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for 5 1/2 years and was subjected to some pretty heavy torture there. So he knows what it’s all about.

However, he also has supported the Iraq war, even after it was discovered that there were no WMD’s over there. Here’s my question, would you like it if an alien race flew in and took over our country telling us that because their civilization was so much more advanced than ours we ought to accept their military-occupation and accept their system of government just because they thinks it’s what’s best for us? By the way, if you were to decide to fight back because you disagreed, they kill you or imprison you for being a “terrorist,” while they established a nice back-door utilization of our country’s most precious resources. I think that that is pretty much what we’ve done over there.

In 2007 McCain was so heavily involved in actions to send a huge military surge to Iraq (some soldiers on their 4th or 5th tour already) that the plan was given his namesake: McCain’s Surge. Isn’t it about time to let that nation take responsibility for its own security and well-being? doesn’t that make it more meaningful and important to them if they have to do it largely for themselves and in their own way and according to their own customs and in a time frame that they think is realistic. I didn’t elect my senator to sit in congress and worry about someone else’s country.

Oh! Back to my car (I tend to get rant-y about Iraq)…. Washington is breaking down like an old car. I think McCain’s attitude (being a member of the Grand Old Party) is that the car just needs an oil change and a new pair of wind-shield wipers. In contrast, I think Barack’s attitude is that we need to junk the piece-of-hud and invest in a new family car. McCain is old (he’d be the oldest man ever elected at 71) and I think that part of being so old is being set in your ways. I’m not an age-ist, I just think McCain’s near-30-years in Washington isn’t going to foster the kind of enema our government needs after 8 years of W.

Epilogue: I have been disappointed with the Presidency of Barack Obama. He has not pushed for some of elements of his platform that the campaigned most passionately about. He has also spent a lot of political capital on an issue that clearly divided the nation: health-care reform. He also has not righted the horrible foreign-relations situation that was created before he took office. All in all, I would not elect the man again. However, I still believe he was worth a shot. =]

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