Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Obama Love

I am not sure when I started to really get excited about Obama. I know way back when he was elected to the Senate, I was impressed with him. His speech at the 2004 Democratic Rally was inspiring, and I was still reeling from the shock that he was only the third African-American senator to be elected since Reconstruction (WTF!?). But I didn't really see him as much more than a news blip on my radar.

During the primary run, I was not excited about anyone. I knew H. Clinton was totally not my pick. She wanted this too badly and as a result was not standing up for anything. Her wish-washy views didn't leave me with much faith. I was sad because I used to love H. Clinton. I still admire her spunk and I used to admire her willingness to stand up for what she believed in but it seems that politics do corrupt. I had friends who were nuts about Obama from the beginning, and spent hours trying to persuade to be nuts about him too. It wasn't enough that I planned to vote for him in the primaries. I had to love him too.

And now a few months later, I am pretty crazy about the guy. There was no blinding light moment on the road to Damascus. Rather it was a gradual process. His speeches were inspiring. The man can talk. And there was something about the message of hope that made me want to believe. His stance on the Iraq War has always been consistent--we need out. And while his tax ideas are no way as liberal as mine (sorry folks, the guy is so not a socialist) they were enough to convince that he has a social conscious.

And then there is Michelle. Cause dear readers my Obama love is not just for Barak. It's for her too. Her story is right out of the "American Dream" history book. Poverty, overt racism, you name it, she faced it, and came out strong. Her intelligence and integrity are apparent in every interview she gives. I told a friend that maybe we should have her running for president. If there's any anger (and I've yet to see what white people are so damn scared of), I would say it is a righteous anger. Personally I have no problem with righteous anger. It is good to have some fire in politics.

Yeah, I know she would "only" be a first lady but when I see the love and respect that exists between Obama and Michelle, I suspect she's going to be a hell of a lot more than a "just."

Lastly, there's my son. Umberto is definitely Obama crazy. He has posters. He wears pins and stickers. He's busily designing a banner for our house to hang on election day. He makes sure, daily, that he's coming with me when I vote for Obama. He watches the debates! He knows Obama's platform. And a few weeks ago, he said "You know Obama has the same color skin as daddy." It is a big deal to Umberto that he is seeing someone who looks like his daddy run for president. It's a big deal to me because I want to be able to honestly say "You can do whatever you want." For too long that doing what you wanted has been limited because of racist, sexist views. And no Obama is not going to wipe that slate clean but he is a start.

So yeah I'm getting excited and scared. I feel like we're on the brink of history and that's a scary exhilarating feeling. We have a chance to elect someone who is different. No matter what your political bent, this is not politics as usual. This is an African-American male about to become the PRESIDENT. It's huge, and we get to watch it. I want to believe. I want to have hope. I want change, and for once, I'm going to push my cynicism aside, and just let myself go.

Added a bit later: I'm chatting with yet another old friend from college, and he was saying how Obama's message is positive, and he said "The details, as long as he stays true to his character, are almost irrelevant." I agree with the emphasis on "almost." What drew me to Obama, initially, was definitely his message. And I think that his going back to that positive, hopeful vibe, is wise. It's a reminder of why so many us have come to have hope again.


Adela said...

Nice post, Ginger. I too have gradually become an Obama supporter. I think he is the most articulate and intelligent politician in the spotlight right now. The idea of having the first African-American president also makes me want to shout out in joy. I really, really hope it happens. There are some things about Obama that I am ambivalent about, like his decision to condone the telecom companies, his unwillingness to go the whole mile and support gay marriage, the absence of the word "poverty" in most of his rallies. One of my best friends is gay and is soon going to get married in Mass. When I talk with her I realize that I definitely tend to miss how absent gay people and the poor (and other underrepresented groups) are from political discourse these days. Republicans only mention homosexuals to trample them and deny them their rights. I think Democrats can do much more for them. Still, Obama, I think, will bring some kind of change if he wins. He is left with a big and very challenging package as the country faces the economic crisis and the war. But hopefully he will live up to our expectations.
As far as Michelle is concerned, she is my heroine! I really admire her. And I admire her more for being everything she is--mother, wife, and a brilliant woman with strong and clear opinions. There is something about her that makes me feel inspired and willing to believe in American politics again. I really hope this family is living in the White House next year.

Ginger As in Green Tea... said...

Yes this is how I feel as well. He's defintely very focused on the middle-class which I think is unfortune trope amoung politicans. But I do think if he made it he would do more to help the poor than McCain would. And I am EXTREMELY disappointed in the Democratic response to the denail of gay marriage. For one thing, I just think marriage is a religious institution and that we should just switch to civil unions which would include all couples.

But he does give me hope. I think he would bring a fresh persepctive to government. There was a really intersting commentary about his foreign policy on NPR today, and the woman who adives him really articulated this newness of view.

Michelle just rules. Her life story is inspiring and amazing.

Ernesto Priego said...

ay, two of my favorite bloggers together in one same room! that rocks!