I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately trying to make sure that I have picked the candidate that I feel is right or me, and that I feel is right for our country. We are not electing issues, we are electing a person. So that all boils down to “whom do you trust?” I must also ask the question “who overcame the most odds and roadblocks to get where they are?” I believe that someone who has persevered in the face of obstacles has the kind of character that I want for my next President.
I am an Obama supporter and have been for a while. But since I have tried to convince voters to do their homework before they choose, I want to make sure I have done my homework as well. Practice what you preach, right?
I first thought about motivation. For the two democratic candidates, what is the motivation for each of them wanting to be president. I believe that Barack Obama wants to make this a better country for his children, and his wife, but in addition to that he wants to make this a better country for me and for you. I believe that Hillary Clinton’s motivation is more deeply embedded in her quest for a personal goal. It is more about her than me. All politicians will say that they are working for the American people. But when I look at each candidate and where they come from, I must make a choice about which candidate is more likely to fight for what is right for me.
Hillary Clinton comes from a more privileged background, had two parents, and has been involved in politics for along time. She has always been an advocate for the poor and especially for children. She has one grown child herself, a husband of questionable personal ethics who I like and was very well-liked as a President. She knows everyone in Washington already; enough so that those who are there already know if they like her or dislike her. And from what I can tell, people have very strong opinions about her either way. She got involved in politics very early and made a name for herself before anyone knew who Bill Clinton was.
Barack Obama comes from a meager background, with an estranged father. After college, he decided to work in his community rather than work for Corporate America. It was his personal experience in the community the lead him forward to obtain his law degree and further, to get to the state legislature where he knew he could make real change to affect those living in neighborhoods filled with crime and poverty. The path he took, to me, lines up more with the kind of person, from the kind of background, who truly understands what is going on in this country.
Hillary Clinton keeps saying she is “ready on day one”. I still don’t know what that means. Am I to assume that an intelligent, well-educated, well-read, compassionate man like Barack Obama wouldn’t know how to be a President? Am I to assume that Hillary Clinton has some sort of inside information that would make her a better President on the first day of office? I just don’t understand this concept. I know that Hillary Clinton lived in the White House with her husband, so she already knows where the forks are in the kitchen and how to use the remote for the TV. I’m not sure that is what makes you ready on day one.
Further, Hillary Clinton has a political ad on TV with a picture of a Red Phone, you know, the emergency phone. She paints a picture of that phone ringing in the middle of the night and because of her experience, she will know what to do in case of emergency, more so than Barack Obama or John McCain. What exactly are her credentials that make her MORE qualified in the scenario? Is it that she has received other emergency phone call when she was in the White House? Emergencies like “hey, your husband had an affair and the shit’s going to hit the fan in the morning so get ready”. Is that what we’re talking about? Because I don’t recall Hillary Clinton getting emergency phone calls and making instantaneous foreign policy decisions when she was the President’s wife.
On the other hand, Barack Obama has a political ad that seems to be a re-enactment of Woodstock 69. Have you seen it? It congers up feelings of the “we can do it” era of the late 60’s and early 70’s. It brings to mind the vision of an army of young people who are standing up for themselves so that they can make a difference. Is this what we need -A younger person full of conviction who believes they can make a difference together with other young people with the same convictions? When I think about this image, I actually can identify with it. Rather than bring about the current Repulican tactic of “fear” again (and by that I mean the image of the red emergency phone and no one there with experience to answer it), I would much rather believe that together, as Americans, we can make the right changes, make a difference, and work together to get these things accomplished. I believe that if Barack Obama had to answer that phone call he would look around at his wife and children, he would think about the American people, and know the right decisions to make.
I will not deprecate Hillary Clinton or her accomplishments as a lawyer, a politician, or as a woman. I won’t question her abilities, and I’m pretty sure I understand her motivation to be the President of the United States. I will however, question whether or not she is the right person to be my next President.
When we are in a situation as it stands today, where the candidates are essentially equally qualified and have the same basic beliefs, what do we do to make a choice? Well, you have to go with your gut. As much as we don’t want to admit it, the race for the democratic nominee, and the Presidency itself, is now a popularity contest. I’ve done everything I can to figure out who I can identify with the most, who I trust the most, and who I believe will represent me the best. I believe that I have made the right choice for me in supporting Barack Obama.
Again I urge each of you to do your own homework and make your own decisions. Hopefully my quest to find the right answers for me will inspire you to go through the same process for yourself.
Thanks for stopping by.