People are tired of Bush. People are even tired of the Clintons. While Hillary has done well in the primaries, and even captured significant segments of voters like women who identified with her, she — along with Bill’s help — have also attracted the scorn of those on the Left who are simply tired of the Clinton style of politics. Consider this scathing comment by William Brieder in The Nation:
The Clintons play dirty when they feel threatened. But we knew that, didn’t we?
The recent roughing-up of Barack Obama was in the trademark style of the Clinton years in the White House. High-minded and self-important on the surface, smarmily duplicitous underneath, meanwhile jabbing hard to the groin area. They are a slippery pair and come as a package. The nation is at fair risk of getting them back in the White House for four more years. The thought makes me queasy.
This deep sense of tiredness with the known quantities of Bush and Hillary, and even with most of the Republican contenders who in their various ways desire to carry on many of Bush’s policies, has contributed to a groundswell for Obama, the candidate who has best voiced optimism and hope for change. Amazingly, this urge for something new isn’t limited to just America. People around the world seem to be yearning for that change as well. Consider what Ramesh Thakur, a political science professor in India, wrote:
“We foreigners can but pray that the new president, whoever he or she may be, will return America to its strengths, values and the tradition of exporting hope and other optimism. And so help to lift America and the world up, not tear one another down.”
It was big news last week, when Obama compared himself to Ronald Reagan. The Clintons and John Edwards attacked him for identifying with a conservative Republican, but here is what Obama actually said:
I don’t want to present myself as some sort of singular figure. I think part of what’s different are the times…I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.
Think about it for a minute. Why was Reagan able to win over so many independents and even some liberals? They may not have liked many of his policies, but his optimism raised their hopes that America could be better. And this is largely what Obama may be able to do as well, albeit from the liberal side.
Now Obama has called for unity in working together to solve our problems. Naturally, he wants to solve problems as liberals define them, and he would like to solve them the liberal way. Conservatives could rightly stand to lose a lot if they offer to compromise. Much would depend on how far the compromises have to go.
But consider how everyone is raised by a new sense of hope. America has been significantly hurt by negative world opinion. It adds fuel to the fires of radical propaganda against us. A new sense of hope could help lessen the anger that terrorists have been able to tap into.
In short, the more people we have on our side, the more people we have rooting for us, the more people that see us as a good and decent superpower, the better for us. While I normally would never vote for a candidate with such liberal policies as Obama has, maybe it’s time for optimism, maybe it’s time that we present a new face to the world — one that works together to solve problems — one that shows we care — one that shows we are beyond racism — one that gives the world hope.
The ironic thing is that I know Bush truly cares and would have loved to work with the Democrats (as he was able to do in Texas). Bush isn’t what people have made him out to be. Unfortunately, the hatred and lies about Bush (and the “neocons”) have worked. I wish Bush would have been a better communicator, but he wasn’t. On the other hand, I am thankful that he fought the terrorists so strongly.
But the attacks on Bush have not only brought him down, they have brought America down — even among people who have long loved and admired America — even among our closest allies.
And so it looks like it’s time for a change. To me, Obama will not only win the Democratic nomination, but he’ll also win the general election. The enthusiasm simply isn’t there for any of the potential Republican candidates, and clearly, Obama is picking up a lot of independents and even Republicans that will vote for him. I don’t see how anybody can beat him.
But perhaps Obama is exactly what God knew we needed at this point in time. Obama would likely appoint liberal justices to the Supreme Court which would hurt the pro-life cause as well as many other conservative issues for years to come. But maybe other issues are more important at this time. And maybe, God gives us just the leader our country deserves. So maybe we need to win the country over first — before we can expect to have our way.
And maybe, we need to communicate hope and optimism better.
Do you think it’s time for Obama?
John F. Kennedy’s daughter Caroline Kennedy writes on why she has found in Obama, A President Like My Father.
David Brooks writes on, The Kennedy Mystique, saying that something “astonishing” happened when the Kennedys came to Bender Arena at American University in Washington to endorse Obama:
The Kennedys and Obama hit the same contrasts again and again in their speeches: the high road versus the low road; inspiration versus calculation; future versus the past; and most of all, service versus selfishness.
Apparently, the thousands of mostly young people at Bender Arena thronged and screamed for Obama like it was a 1960’s Beatles concert. This photo says it all (from here):