Saturday, March 08, 2008

Why Obama!

As the primaries began I really didn’t care much for the process. My first experience of the primaries was lackluster to say the least. The contenders were uninspiring and really couldn’t speak two sentences without sounding almost apologetic about running the campaign.

That was four years ago. Today I have a whole different perspective on politics. Not because my cynicism for the process has decreased or that I envision a country that would transform into something completely different under the leadership of Barack Obama, but because I “HOPE” to see some of the critical changes that I yearn for in the nation’s political scene. Even if Barack Obama doesn’t achieve half the things he says he would, I would still be glad to see him get ahead in the primaries and move on to win the presidential elections.

Over the last eight years I have watched in utter dismay at the way politics has degenerated in America. In the late 90s, when I began following politics, Clinton was embroiled in his scandal and politics was once again proving to be a dirty business. However the country was in a spectacular economic boom and no one really cared. All that ended with the stock market collapse of 2000 followed by the horrific events of 9/11. Rather than using the terrible events of 2001 as a motivation to bring the country together, both parties have effectively split the nation into two along the lines of fear and panic. The current administration has used the leeway that it was given during the time of war to push its own agenda and further alienate people who disagree with them. The democrats have done no better and their recent success is only a product of the ill will created by the current administration.

Hillary Clinton represents one of the leading faces of the Democratic Party during this unfortunate time in American politics. The Republicans view her as the symbol of partisan politics and fear her as they would an arch enemy. Barack Obama however is relatively new to the scene. He represents the face of a leader who is untouched by the brutal political battles waged in the past eight years at the national level. Though he is accused of being inexperienced and new to the political scene, I believe that he brings forward the opportunity to look beyond the hostility between the two parties and work on building a consensus driven government. He seems willing to accept things that are good beyond the Democratic Party if it addresses the needs of the nation even if it means embracing ideas that came from the opposite side of the aisle. I found it laughable that Barack had to be apologetic about the fact that he had inadvertently complimented President Regan for being a transitional president. Hillary Clinton was belligerently attacking him on this issue during a presidential debate. This kind of an uncompromising stance demonstrated by Clinton during her campaign makes me believe that she would only work to further tear this country apart. What the country needs today is to come together and work hand in hand to resolve the daunting challenges that lie ahead. The nation has no time or energy left to watch politicians bickering over trivial things while keeping the greater task of nation building on hold.

Most of us admit that we are moved by Obama’s speeches. The reason why it is so awe inspiring is because he truly believes in what he says. Most great orators successfully capture the minds of their listeners only because they talk passionately about things they want to change and influence. This passion translates into moving speeches which make believers out of people. Obama has this gift and I believe he also has passion for nation building. This passion will translate into his ability to bring both political parties together, leaping over the mundane differences and extreme beliefs. He will be able to build consensus among both Democrats and Republicans and will achieve great things through this unity. If he can do such a fantastic job of bringing so many people together during the primaries, imagine what he could do while working with the Congress and the Senate.

Today we stand at the crossroads. The path ahead for this nation is challenging. The road ahead, whichever we might pick, will have its own set of challenges and successes. However, we need a leader who will take us all together on this path forward rather than split us along various belief systems and send us on our own merry way. Barack Obama demonstrates the very essence of a great leader with his passion and sincerity.

Barack Obama might be a rookie in Washington, but his passion is real. He truly wants to create a political scene that is beyond partisan battles. That to me is what the nation really needs at this juncture.

A consensus builder!

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