Wednesday, November 05, 2008
the pendulum swings...
...or why I'm glad Obama won the presidency.
I voted for Obama, but it wasn't because of some fervor or super passionate feeling that he was, far and away, the best person for the job. I tried to get myself to a point where I could feel even neutral about McCain, but I never could (though I did like his spots on SNL last week and a few months ago). For me, it came down to a feeling that you can take a good man and make him a great leader, and I felt like Obama was a good man. Looking at the issues, there were a lot of similarities, actually, and nothing stood out to me. Despite my pro-life views, I don't choose candidates based on their abortion views, as I don't think abortion will go away. (Yes, there is much we can do to minimize it, but outlawing it isn't the solution.) Both McCain and Obama promoted health care plans that I don't think really get to the root of the problem. Additionally, health care isn't something the president will solve in a vacuum--he has to get the Congress on board with him. I don't like some of what I know about what Obama has said about selecting Supreme Court justices--I want people who understand the Constitution inside and out, not "somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom, the empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor or African-American or gay or disabled or old — and that’s the criteria by which I’ll be selecting my judges." (How un-liberal of me, I know.)
But to my point. Unfortunately, neither of the two candidates share my view of where I think the country should be headed. (I think we are probably way beyond where I think we should have tried to make a U turn in many areas.) But I do think the American political system is largely about swings of the pendulum. I don't like the direction Bush has taken the country and I feel like the pendulum is at its maximum extension on one side. I think it's time for it to swing the other way. I think both McCain and Obama would cause this to happen, but McCain would meet much more resistance if only because of his party ties and having to buck his fellow GOP good ol' boys.
I have to chuckle at some of my conservative friends' comments via their Facebook status. Some are in jest, but some are very serious. Comments about stockpiling food and ammunition, getting used to saying "Comrade," and feeling "sick that americans care more about themselves than about the greater good." I remember (though I was only 14) when Bill Clinton got elected. Due to swimming in fairly conservative ponds up to that point in my life, I was certain that the world would end because he was elected. Guess what? It didn't. It was actually a pretty good run of 8 years. I was never a Clinton fan and was delighted when his second term ended (by then I could vote), but Bush has made me appreciate the good that Clinton accomplished and the type of leader he was, even if I still wouldn't want to spend any time with the guy. My hope is that Obama is as good a man as he seems to be and that he'll surround himself with capable and intelligent staff.
Oh, and one other factor in my decision was the fact that McCain is 72. I feel like that generation had their chance to lead, and now it's time to move forward. My dad is 72, and while I love him tremendously and think he has a lot of wisdom and experience, I don't want his generation in charge of the country anymore.
Well, that's sufficient ramblings. It was more coherent before I sat down to type, but constant interruptions by the kiddos will do that to a person.