Why I’m Excited About Barack Obama

Obama PosterIf you know me, you know I’m not a fan of the two party system.  I’m hugely skeptical of both the democrats and republicans (check out my presentation on the financial crisis for an example).  With Obama, I was worried that he was all talk and no substance (what exactly is change?), that his cult of personality was building unrealistic expectations, and that he really was no different than your standard politician.

Anyway, the day after the election, I remained my cynical self and made some sarcastic remark about being surprised that winter was still here, that the world still had hunger and war, and that I hadn’t woken up surrounded by twenty virgins in heaven.  This whole thing was part of an AIM chat with Shawn Collins, my occasional running buddy and graphic designer, and he put me in my place with a simple response:

[12:50] sh0wnxx: why don’t you try to enjoy the excitement of what’s going on before it passes you by. Who cares about 2012 right now or even 2009. Its the day after the election.

He made a good point.  We finally see America rebuking the legacy one of the worst administrations in history, and instead of showing some excitement, I’m still being an asshole.  So, while I don’t think I’ll ever apologize for being a skeptic, I’ll admit, I am excited about Obama, and here is why:

  • Obama is a new brand for America: We now have a clean slate to become global citizens and a chance to prove to the rest of the world we aren’t a country of arrogant imperialists.  Electing another stereotypical rah-rah patriot white guy wouldn’t have given us this opportunity.  Think about it…when has the whole world ever been so excited about someone winning a US election?
  • We will have a president whose economic platform isn’t built on the sanctity of the free market: The whole financial crisis has made it painfully obvious that  Laissez Faire Reagonomics is exceptionally flawed, yet Republican candidates keep pushing deregulation as the answer to everything.  With Obama, at a minimum, we won’t have a president who will rely on market self-regulation as the lynchpin of any economic policy.
  • We have a secular president who will put science first: When Obama made his “they cling to guns or religion”  comment, I think he really meant it—it was some accidental straight talk that he had to take back because of political realities.  For me, it was real hope.  Maybe he spent some time at an extremist church, but it is clear he won’t be making policies within the framework of an extreme-right Christian fundamentalist worldview.   Federal stem cell research here we come…

So I’m not an Obama fan, but because of him, I think we are better off today than we were one week ago.  I hope that my skepticism is unwarranted, and I’m going to give him a chance to get me excited and prove me wrong.

~ by chrishulls on November 10, 2008.

One Response to “Why I’m Excited About Barack Obama”

  1. I arrived to your blog through your financial crisis presentation for slideshare (which I took the liberty of posting in mine), and have read with interest this post on Obama.

    I write from Spain and, though I can’t help being just as skeptical as you are about any real change happening, I think your friend and you have some good points to make.

    For the sake of the whole world, let’s hope Obama lives up (at least to a good extent) to his message of change, whatereve that actually means.

    Un saludo.

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