I’m getting a little tired of some people saying that Barack Obama’s entire presidential campaign is based solely on words. They say he doesn’t have a platform, his supporters can’t name one thing that he has “done” to make him a viable candidate. This point of view comes from, you guessed it, the conservatives. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a conservative talking head say something like “if you stop any Obama backer on the street and asked them what Barack Obama’s accomplishments are and what makes him qualified to be president, they would look at you and say, Duh, I don’t know, I just like him”. I find that offensive.
One thing Mr. Obama has done is run a successful campaign. When you look back a year ago and then compare that to where he is now, he obviously knows how to rally his supporters, he knows how to organize and run a large scale operation, all while instilling optimism, a quest for the truth, and genuine hope for the future. I’d say that is quite a bit.
I must admit that I have not done a lot of research on Barack’s specific accomplishments as a Senator. I know he cares a great deal about our troops and fought for legislation to give the returning troops, wounded or otherwise, the kind of treatment they deserve; the kind of treatment that was not given to them by our current president. I also know he was instrumental in the Federal Funding Accountability legislation which was designed to keep all Americans informed of government spending in an open, transparent manner. He also wants to end the war. He has said he want all the troops home by the end of 2009 but I know that he knows he must end this war in a way that does not cause more harm or problems. He has said he wants to talk to world leaders without “conditions”. I don’t know what Hillary Clinton means by conditions or why she thinks that is a problem, but there is certainly nothing wrong with starting a dialog with world leaders with which we must begin the process of healing a relationship.
This brings me to something else I know about Barack Obama. I believe in my heart that he must have read and believed in something that Abraham Lincoln once said.
Lincoln said “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
This, to me, is the touchstone of Barack Obama’s message. He believes in the truth, and bringing that truth to the American people. And again, he wants to bring all Americans to the truth, not by talking down to them, but by empowering them and treating them with dignity, all the while instilling a sense of hope and a renewed sense of pride in America.
I can’t say that about any other candidate. Barack Obama happens to be a talented and eloquent speaker. But that is NOT all there is to him. If you don’t want to really pay attention to him, if you don’t want to believe in him, and if you think his grand speeches overshadow any real talent he has, then there is nothing I can say that will change your mind. But I realized when I sat down to write this post that I know more about Barack Obama than I thought I did. But some things are difficult to put in words and I don’t know if I could state them all eloquently if I was stopped on the street.
So, to answer my own questions, I like Obama because I like who he is as a person, and I like what he has accomplished so far. As for his platform, it is based on truth. He wants to know the truth, and he wants to tell you the truth, so that together, we can deal with the truth and do what needs to be done to get our country going in the right direction. It may sound simple, it may sound trite to some, but his message — and, HE — is one I believe in.