Sunday, January 27, 2008

This Momentous Choice

Having just read Caroline Kennedy's glowing endorsement for Barack Obama this morning, I thought it a good time to comment on what may be the single most important decision this country is being called on to make in a long time. Do we stick with the tried and true, or do we stick our necks out a bit, and try to reach some higher plane?

Washington is mired in a partisanship that has brought all good ideas to a complete standstill. The only point of agreement is that everything needs to be fixed. We are a deeply divided country; polarized on so many important issues.

I admired and appreciated President Clinton's leadership during his 8 years in office. And I resented having his ability to do the job we put him there to do being rendered ineffective during the last year or two by the right-wing's and the craven press' inability to keep their nose out of his crotch. The last seven-plus years have made Bill Clinton's accomplishments and abilities shine even more (that's not saying much, though, I realize).

I appreciate the fact that Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have found uncommonly broad common ground in laying out many of the general and specific things that need to be done to repair some of the damage that's been and is being done by the Bush people, and agreement on much of what needs to be done to move from there forward, with greater aspirations for our country. I expect any of them would do a great job. But to make any difference at all, the new president will have to motivate a highly divided congress.

Right now, given all those things, I appreciate Barack Obama's ability to speak to our higher selves. He takes an approach that attempts to evoke the best in us.

I am angry about what's been done to this country, and appropriately so I think, because I love this this country and its people. But I really like the way that Obama redirects our energies toward the higher aspiration of putting our heads and hearts together in a positive way to make things better.

Unfortunately, as much as I respect the Clintons' and Edwards' good intentions and abilities, they dwell so much on the negative, and polarize people so much, I think they would not be able to accomplish as much for us as a people as Obama would.

In the Buddhist community, the people we purposefully associate ourselves with and with whom we attempt to learn together how to be better people, is called a "Sangha." Obama is the kind of individual who enriches our Sangha as a people, and I believe we would do well to give him a chance to lead us in a more positive direction.

However this comes out, it has been a huge benefit to our culture at large to have Obama imprint on us the idea, the image, the ability to imagine, a black man as President. And just so, Hillary Clinton's strength and long, hard effort has given us the ability to imagine a woman in that role as well. That doesn't mean anyone should or shouldn't vote for either of these folks based on their race or sex. But each of them, merely by their sincere and devoted efforts to come as far as they have come, have given us these gifts of imagining, and that has helped us to grow as a culture already.

I feel more optimistic than I have in a long time as a result.


Kym said...

I'm hoping that having seen the fiasco that happened with Bush and the Far Right in charge of our country, the Voters will make choices less out of fear and more out of faith--faith that if we treat others reasonably and fairly, as a whole our country will be better off than if we make unfounded preemptive strikes and use crazy fear based torture in order to protect the American Ideals of fairness and justice.

Hey, that was all one sentence!

The Boy Most Likely to ... said...

Kym, the primaries will be less about fear. Things will get more treacherous when the Presidential Election rolls around.

That said, the Right knows how to run a campaign, using all sorts of tools, such as fear.

I hope, for the Left's sake, that they put up a better fight this time around.

Even with all that has gone wrong with eight years of Republican leadership, all they have to do is find the one issue that keeps people afraid of voting for a democrat.

Let the games begin.


Greg said...

Edwards just dropped out, so Obama looks more possible than ever.

Anonymous said...

President Clinton was right when he said that a vote for Obama was "a toss of the dice." How could it not be? He has virtually zero experience.

He's a nice guy but he's just not ready to be president. Hillary Clinton, by contrast, has both the experience and the brains to get the job done. She is well liked in NY.

bob said...

Unless they are handed an overwhelmingly Dem congress, I think the Clinton's experience will net us "more of the same"; an ineffectual president and do nothing congress. They will be opposed by the right merely because they are Clintons.

Hillary has already lost control of Bill, who, by his inane comments, has pissed off a large segment of Dem society. What will he say when he perceives the world is "threatening" his wife?

It's time to "roll the dice".
The tried and true seems to be an ever tightening spiral of disaster.

I say.. let's Barak the log jam.

Steve said...

I'm with you, Tara. I sent in my absentee ballot for Obama.