January 20th, 2008

Galen 2013

Obama for President

In my opinion, there are several good Democratic candidates running for President.  I am happy to choose among well qualified people who have reasonable views on most issues.  I will support any of the major Democratic contenders in the Fall election.

Nevertheless, I have a strong preference for Senator Barack Obama.

Senator Barack ObamaThe greatest Obama advantage is the way he articulates and illustrates the American Story. It's generationally, racially, experientially different — and more hopeful than — the dismal narrative we've been living through under President Bush.  In many ways it's also superior to what any President has offered in generations.

Perhaps, as one story I read surmised, Obama's real advantage is that he is too young to be stuck in the endless liberal vs conservative re-fighting of the Vietnam War. He doesn't have to keep using the same symbols and honor the same touchstones which have been so important to each "side" since 1968. So, his story sounds more fresh and more acceptable to more people.

Maybe it has nothing to do with his delivery or his style. Whatever the reason, Obama's progressive message is met with more openness than the same program is when either of the other major Democratic candidates tell of their vision.  I am ready to back a person who will lead the country in the direction I believe we need to go. I am very ready to back that person when they do their leading without pissing off 49% of my fellow citizens.

Perhaps similarly, I believe President Obama will be best in fighting the real war on terrorism. Terrorism and the Middle East Morass are likely to be huge obstacles for years to come. This real terrorism threat is the one that the current administration cries "WOLF!" about all the time while they fertilize anti-Western training groups with their immoral torture, ham-handed interventions, and shrill psychic divination of other's mass destruction intents.

There is no other Presidential candidate who will better put to the lie of the Great White Satan than Barack Obama.  It's not his fault, but the visuals are just too compelling to ignore. His policies are sound. However, the picture of a young black President who is America's elected leader will be more than twice as important than any individual policy change Obama -- or any other new President -- will make.
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My excitement over President Obama doesn't stem from any particular policy.  I've checked on his site and in the media, and his policies are strong enough.  But, truthfully, a President can do little by him- or herself.  The President must be able to draw a vision of American which voters and politicians understand and want to help create.

The worst Presidents draw compelling visions of America under siege, declining, and poor.  Their policies and the country become protective, narrow, and withdrawn.

The best Presidents envision people working together, extending hands to those less fortunate, and paying a fair share to ensure the basics of life for their neighbors. They create a bully pulpit for public morality which is not focused on amassing private, trickle-down wealth.  People are working hard, and respect is a cultural norm.  These Presidents' powerful sagas are about a community looking forward and not over its shoulder.

Obama for President.