Monday, February 04, 2008

Why Barack Obama Does Not Get My Vote

No I’m not jumping on the bandwagon, for a number of reasons:

1. I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I have, in fact, something of an antipathy to bandwagons. But I’m aware of that and thus when a bandwagon approaches, I try to be very clear on where my reasoning is sound and where it is not.

2. I have a visceral feeling, call it an urge actually, that his campaign intentions will come to naught, and he will leave our country worse off than it is. The last time I felt this way was in 2000. I felt sure that George W Bush would spell disaster for the United States. It was just such a visceral feeling, a knowing in my bones, as I have now, and I feel helpless again to be able to do anything to prevent my fellow countrymen from slipping down that slope again. Oh, and the time before that that I had it: when Richard Nixon got the presidency.

3. What is that slope? It’s the Feel Good Hill. We so want to feel good about ourselves that we throw our arms around the candidate that is most able to make us feel good. That’s what it was all about in ’00 when masses voted for George W. because he was just one of us, a regular guy that you’d want to knock back a couple of brews with. Never mind that he was not a regular guy, but a scion of the oligarchy whose candidacy, as was his bio, had been fashioned from the whole cloth. And in ’04, Dean was the Pied Piper, until he screamed. The ability to make us feel good is not a criteria that the concept of an informed electorate includes. Our democracy was created with the assumption that we, the people, would use our native intelligence and common education to make choices based on reason, not emotion.

4. Obama’s candidacy is almost as engineered as Bush’s was. The Presidential whispers started back at the last nominating convention when he gave that stirring speech. The whispers had little to do with his experience, because at that point (and still), he’d had little. No, the whispers had to do with the fact that he is an excellent orator. He could bring people together, urge them on, make them feel good. And God knows, the Democratic party needed that, so the powers that be, or the powers that wanna be, revved up their engines and here we are today with a candidate about whom the strongest thing people can say is that “he’ll bring us together.”

5. To do what, I want to know? True, he may increase the number of registered Democrats, but after election day, then what? How exactly will that translate to national and international policy? How will his “bringing us together” impact on his ability to make the hard decisions that are the fact of governing?

6. I’m appalled by the nostalgia that is fomenting Obama’s campaign. I want to say to all the people that think Camelot-Redux is just around the corner: How many of you were actually there then? How many of you are doing more than yearning after newsreel highlights and reconstituted memories? I was there then. The Bay of Pigs was no Hallmark moment, no matter how gloriously it’s portrayed today. It was a scary time and the fact that John F. Kennedy was a seasoned legislator who had actually been to war is probably what made all the difference. I would argue that for all Barack Obama is a good man of integrity and intelligence, he hasn’t the experience and therefore the ability to lead our country in the international arena where we are so very, very vulnerable.

Please, please, please, people: put your hearts aside and use your heads. Obama may make you feel good; Clinton will make you safe.

No comments:

Post a Comment

So--whaddaya think?