Go Blue

I got an unexpected invitation to a Barack Obama fundraiser on Sunday. It was a couple thousand people, sweating like crazy and straining to hear through the suffering sound system, packed SRO in a classic, old theater in downtown Denver. It was a refreshingly diverse crowd and the whole thing had a very grassroots feel. Unfortunately, after the local color guard band got us all whooped up with anticipation, the star was tardy, and it was so hot with all of us crammed in there that one woman fainted in front of me. But enough with the non-essentials.

I’ll spare you the highlights of the speech because you and I both know that what politicians say before they are elected means very little in the long run. Here’s what I like about his history: he is from a multiracial family, he has been a civil rights activist, he has a record in his state of effectively reaching out to folks outside his demographic and getting both sides of the aisle to play together, he is open about the role drugs have played in his life, and his process around his religious choices show that he can think independently and has found a way for religion to coexist with critical thinking. He is campaigning on hope and empowerment of people rather than scaring people into empowering a fascist, elite cabal. This country is in dire need of what he offers and he has the charisma to pull us along with him into revivification of the kind of values and behavior that makes us proud to be American. The short of it is that I like the guy and feel like I could trust him.

I haven’t made up my mind yet who I will vote for in February. But that’s because we’ve just got some damned good choices this time and don’t have to limit ourselves to who we think the right-leaning independents would put up with. (As an aside, my main hesitation about Clinton is that, if elected, we’d have 20+ years of dynasties and that’s not what I want our country to become. That said, she deserves a look because she isn’t a puppet on a string. What would be equally exciting is if we actually could elect someone, like Edwards, who doesn’t stay so quiet on controversial issues and openly admits he would tax the rich.) If there’s any silver lining to the last 6 years, it’s that the country is ready to elect someone who can restore American values (not just rich guy, lobbyist values) and it’s so damned urgent to do so that the person’s age, race, or sex is pretty irrelevant.

The next two years should be pretty exciting.

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3 thoughts on “Go Blue

  1. I have SO wanted to hear him speak in person!

    I agree with your thoughts, I think the major Democratic candidate-candidates have a lot of interesting aspects all around, and most important to me, if they stick to their guns they’re likely to push each other into really tackling the issues I want to know about.

    I am most excited about Obama and Edwards. I have a visceral distrust of Hillary, which is odd because I loved Bill, and I WANT to love her, but I don’t trust her to stay strong on the things that are deal-breakers to me.

    Really, though, I’m hoping like hell for Gore to enter late and add Obama or Edwards to his ticket. I really, really, really think they could win.

    • He admitted to drinking, smoking pot, and doing cocaine as a teenager while he was struggling with being the only black person in an all-white family (on top of the innate identity crisis of being an adolescent).

      Here are some references:
      * Dreams from My Father p. 93-94
      * Washington Post
      * Wikipedia
      Obama stated in an October 2006 interview: “Oh, look, you know, when I was a kid, I inhaled. Frequently. That was the point. You know, it’s, it’s not something I make light of. It’s something that I wrote actually about in my first book, and it was reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teen-age boy. And in that sense, I think, the vast majority of Americans understand that teenage boys are frequently confused.”

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