Saturday, October 4, 2008

Why I Voted for Barack Obama

Someone (Karen) asked me to give my reasons for supporting Barack Obama.  Rather than give you a well thought out 5,000 word post (which I probably could do), I decided to just respond immediately and off the top of my head.  You may have seen my post recently with the Top 9 things about Barack Obama that I disagree with.

These reasons will be presented in no particular order.  Just as they happen to occur to me.  I'm typing this "live" right into my Blogger editor.

  1. Barack Obama is smart, compassionate, confident and shrewd- Barack has shown his intelligence while at Harvard.  He showed his compassion by his service in Chicago (as a community organizer).  He showed his confidence by writing two "memoirs" before most people in the country had even heard of him.  Who would want to buy a book by a guy with a name you can't even remember.  Also, he used to be called "Barry".  He went back to Barack.  Doesn't seem like a political move to me.  And he has shown his shrewdness by defeating the Clinton machine, while being a major underdog in that election.

  2. I agree with Barack Obama's views on most major issues.  I took a test that was supposed to quantify that. And, while the test was hugely flawed, I came out 76% Obama and 24% McCain.  Particularly, I agree with:
    • Obama's views on abortion- I think a woman should have access to safe abortions and the right to decide should be left up to the woman, her doctor and any spiritual advisors she wants to include
    • Obama's views on what's fair in taxes- while I disagree with the notion that we need or can afford tax cuts, if we're going to give them out, I'm willing to pay a little more so that  a family of 4 making $40,000 or $50,000 a year can pay less.  In these tough economic times, people making $250,000/year or more should not be given a tax break.
    • Obama's view on health care- frankly, I might have liked Hillary plan a little better. I like the idea of universal health care.  I don't know exactly how we get there.  However, health care should not be a privilege but a right.  It's barbaric that people have to declare bankruptcy due to an unexpected illness.  It's absurd that my sister-in-law with cancer can't change jobs because of a pre-existing condition and she can't get covered anywhere else or take her coverage with her.  p.s.- not to bash.  But, John McCain's idea to force more people into the individual market (off of employer group coverage) to fend for themselves is just frankly bass-ackwards as far as I am concerned.
    • Obama's view on energy- when Obama could have pandered to the American people and supported that "gas tax holiday", he held his ground and said we needed to be more concerned with long term solutions.  When it comes to "drill, baby, drill" he recognizes that is not nearly enough to get us out of the mess we are in would actually take our eye off the ball.  He realizes the need for a comprehensive long term plan to energy independence.
    • Iraq- wrong war at the wrong time.  Wants to withdraw responsibly and with as much care getting out as carelessness going in. But, he wants us out of Iraq and focused on the real fight against terror.

  3. Barack Obama's worldview- Obama began to capture my imagination when he gave his speech at the Democratic National Convention four years ago.  I don't remember the particulars.  But, I do remember that I liked his vision of America and his idea there there is no black America or white America, just the United States of America.  I like his world view.  I think as a biracial man raised by a single mother in Hawaii, Indonesia, etc., Barack Obama has a unique worldview.  He was taught to be tolerant and respectful of all religious view.  While he's a committed Christian, he is not a brainwashed Christian.  He chose Christianity, of his own accord, as an adult.  I think he has moved beyond an "us" versus "them" mentality into the mentality that we are all in this together.  This applies to both domestic and foreign policy.  When he says "I am my brother's keeper, I think he means it."

  4. Barack Obama is either one of the most shrewd politicians ever or genuinely has a spirit of public service.  After graduating from Harvard Law school, he went to the streets of Chicago to help poor people organize their communities.  He passed up over 600 lucrative job offers to go walk the streets of poor neighborhoods.  Some say the community service was just a step up to his political aspirations.  Really?  How many others have taken that path?

  5. Barack Obama is comfortable on the streets of Chicago and in the halls of the Ivy Leagues- He was voted the first black President of Harvard Law School ever. And, even though he was known as a liberal, his genuine concern for everyone won him the votes of the conservatives on the review also.

  6. Barack Obama brings a fresh vision to Washington- while I think he has enough experience to be qualified- years as a State Senator, a law degree from Harvard, taught constitutional law and some time as United States Senator, he has not been in Washington long enough to become jaded and to succumb to the "this is the way we've always done it".  I think he has just the right combination of experience and freshness.

  7. I would be less than honest if I said I haven't always leaned left and Democratic.  However, until this year I have always insisted on calling myself and Independent and refused to register with either party. I registered Democratic so I could vote in the primary for Barack Obama.

  8. Barack Obama has inspired this country- I've seen hope from people who haven't been hopeful.  I've got good (middle-aged) friends who were life-long Republicans who are literally making this campaign their life-for Barack Obama. I see young people registering to vote.  I hear black people who are hopeful.  I think that an intangible that will come if Obama is elected (and even if he's not) is young black men will begin to believe they can accomplish anything.

  9. Barack Obama has inspired the world-what a great thing to show the world that America is ready to elect a man with a Muslim name and with brown skin to be our leader.  Electing Barack Obama will elevate America's leadership in tolerance and acceptance to new levels around the world.  We preach tolerance. But, we've never had a woman leader or anything other than a white, male.  This would be a huge step forward for our country.

  10. Barack Obama has inspired me- this is the first time in my life I've contributed to a political campaign, first time I've voted early, first time I'm volunteering at the polls on election day.
There you have just some of the reasons why I went out yesterday and voted for Barack Obama.  I could name more. But, I'll stop now.

p.s.- this is the first time in a long time that I have actually voted for a candidate rather than against the other candidate.  That is a nice feeling!


kc bob said...

Nice job Brian delineating your reasons.. oh that I saw it that simply. Your post did remind me of this:

Quoting from the Acts of the Barackians 26:28..

Then Bob said to Brian, "Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Barackian?" :)

Brian said...


I am a fan (obviously). But, I really don't want to be identified as an Obamaphile or whatever. As I pointed out in my earlier post, he does have his flaws (as do we all) and I do have my disagreements with him. But, I think he just may be one of those once in a generation public servants.

It's not all black and white for me. I'm very much like Barack in that I see shades of gray and both sides of issues. While I am enthusiastic about him, I don't expect him to cure the world's or even the nation's ills. I just hope he does a good job.


kc bob said...

I also hope he does a good job Brian.. as president or senator.

karen said...

Thanks for posting this, Brian. I appreciate your viewpoint.

Brian said...

LOL. I was hoping for a little feedback Karen. I guess I didn't convince you. ;-)


karen said... ;-) But I certainly respect your views. I'll research some more. If you read my blog you'll see I'm not happy with anyone. Except maybe Ron Paul. But he's not on the Texas ticket. Bob Barr is. But, he's kind of scary looking....
but I digress...

Brian said...

Oh well. It was worth a shot. Thanks for taking the time to read it Karen.

I don't blame people who are fed up with the whole process and all the candidates. But, I guess I look at the process as a necessary evil candidates have to go through to get elected. I wish we could change it. But, I don't know how now that we've opened Pandora's box with the smear tactics and the American public proves time and time again they are effective. A couple of candidates tried to take the high road and got creamed in the process.

:::: deep sigh:::::