Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Why I like Barack Obama

I am always hesitant to post my thoughts on politics for a couple of reasons: 1) I feel like I'm kinda in the minority in my circles and I really don't like to ruffle people's feathers (really), and 2) I realize I'm not the smartest cookie in the jar, and my reasons for liking Barack Obama may not be the best there are. But I guess that's one of the "benefits" of our system - an idiot schmuck like me can have just as much say as the most knowledgeable of political pundits. So... I decided to finally move this post from draft mode to publish.

I would also like to say that I have no problem with those who support another candidate, or choose not to vote at all. I'm not trying to change anyone's mind. How you vote doesn't matter to me, and is really none of my business. But I would like to write out for myself, and have a little keepsake of it, so in a few years I'll be able to remember why I endorsed Barack Obama for president of the USA. That's what MY blog is for. So...

I will most likely vote for Senator Obama not because I believe he is the "lesser of two evils" (as many people feel), but because I actually like him and think he will be a good president. Of course, I could be wrong, and I certainly don't agree with him on all issues. I wouldn't expect to agree with any politician (or person, for that matter) on everything. Scot McKnight has a nice post HERE about Obama as president, and I tend to agree with him in that one of the main reasons I like Obama is simply because I respect him and I think he is genuine and he tells the truth. That might not mean much to some people, but it means a lot to me.

I also came across Brian McLaren's "Why I'm Voting for Obama" and I tend to like his "framing story" thoughts as well. That's kind of what I had been thinking, I'm just not able to say things as well as Brian.

And I think we're going to need someone like Barack. In Frost & Hirsch's book The Shaping of Things to Come they say, "One of the best working definitions of poverty is not just the lack of money but the lack of a dream, a vision, hope." And it could just be me, but I think poverty in this regard is going to become a growing problem in our country. We have been living on credit for too long, and I think a lot of people are going to be in for a lot of changes. I believe dreams and vision and hope are going to be in great demand in the very near future. I don't say this to be fatalistic, but I say it because people-watching and a concern for the welfare of others is my occupation... my business... my life. And I would never confuse Obama with the Messiah - who is the only true hope we humans have - but at the same time, I think he is the best option we have as a politician when it comes to matters of civil government and world relations at this time.

As far as the abortion issue... I mean no disrespect, but I think it is shallow and misguided to think that is the ONLY thing that matters, or that this trumps all other concerns. I think the honest truth is that sometimes there are other things that are just as important, and maybe even more important. And that doesn't mean I don't value life. I value all lives. Certainly I am not in favor of a woman having an abortion, and I don't think Obama is either. I believe life starts at conception, if not before. However, I have no problem with Obama thinking it is not the governments job to tell people they need to believe that too. As Gov. Palin has stated, her daughter CHOSE to keep her baby, and the Religious Right think she should be praised for doing so. So why shouldn't others get to choose for themselves too? Or does it depend on who you are? I think trying to legislate morality walks a very fine line. And you can spare me the sermons on taking innocent lives. It doesn't hold water in my book unless you're willing to talk capital punishment and war theory as well.

So... for what it's worth... that's where I stand. Is Barack Obama a perfect presidential candidate? Nope. But neither is anyone else. Will it matter if he doesn't win? Probably not. But as of right now he's my choice, and may God be with you in making yours.

Peace out, folks; and in.