Thursday, August 28, 2008

Can You Get Behind YOUR Candidate Without Stomping On Mine?

I've had plenty of opportunity lately to talk with people both in some online groups as well as in person about Barack Obama's campaign.

I've seen signs that say "NOPE" under Barack's picture, and this most silly one: "Sign of the Easily Fooled" above his bumper sticker. This picture I found on Facebook.

I'm really starting to feel sorry for people who feel the need to tear down Barack instead of focus on the positive aspects of their own candidate. The reality is, if they were SO excited about McCain, they could do what most of us Obama supporters do, and that's just talk about the virtues of their candidate.

Are they jealous of our candidate who will be filling a beautiful new stadium with 70,000 of his raucously happy supporters tonight? Could John McCain FIND 70,000 people that are excited about him?

I have trouble finding a car on the freeway with a McCain bumper sticker (I've literally seen one so far), and yet there are thousands of Obama stickers on the road.

Why is that? Is a certain party missing their rock star?

I noticed something last night as President Bill Clinton and Sen. Joe Biden both said nice things about McCain, and praised his service to our country. Yes, they talked about his voting record (it's a tangible record, so it's a fair shot), and quoted his own words of believing that everything is fine in Afghanistan (it isn't, just because we don't hear about it).

The reality is, they both said sincere things about what a great man McCain is, and both pointed that his brand of leadership isn't what we need right now in these difficult times, which essentially means four more years of the same crap we've all been suffering through.

Yes, I give George.W.Bush. a hard time. But I'm with 81 percent of the population who's able to say they've had enough of him.

I'm not going to say that Obama's campaign has been perfect. But I can tell you his supporters here on the ground (like me) don't rip on McCain every chance we get. And it's not for lack of material.

Sometimes (but certainly not always) I find it's a race thing. The louder and more often someone goes on about how much they WILL NOT vote for Obama (all caps on online groups, loudly in person) makes me wonder if they are really, deep down inside, just afraid of him because he's Black.

Or maybe they've bought the fear-mongering Republican story that somehow Barack and Michelle Obama are going arrive at the White House only to rip off their educated, urban exteriors to reveal a terrorist and his wife in a burka (I've actually heard that, you see, I don't have to make this crap up).

There was a time when even I thought Barack had a Muslim background behind his name (with a middle name like his, who wouldn't?) but the reality is, he's more Christian than I am.

You see, the more adamant you are against someone says more about you than anything else. And the reasons are even more telling.

I've only heard one or two people say that they don't like Obama because they're simply Republicans who don't buy the Democratic ideals.

I get that. I feel that way about Republicans. I am for choice, gay rights, the rights of all people actually, saving the environment (and us with it), and ending this god-awful war.

You won't catch me ragging on McCain much, and I don't take cheap shots in general. Unless you call my pointing out the fact that he called his own wife the c-word in front of reporters.

But even family-values-minded Republicans should be horrified by that.

I just find things like the "EASILY FOOLED" line to be not only offensive in the sense that it directly questions my intelligence, but it makes me think: What kind of cynical person can't just try to get excited about THEIR candidate and leave it at that? Or at the worst, just shut up about both candidates and vote how you want?

I'm just saying, you can't attack Barack and not have us Obama supporters think that you're being small-minded. After all, to us Barack represents hope, something we've been mighty short on since 9/11. And we're not all dancing around thinking that everything's going to be fine after the election.

We know there's hard work to be done. And we're willing to do it. But we need a leader who's actually willing to admit there are problems, and offer solutions, not tell us everything's ok to continue as it is.

Change. The potential for change. The recognition that we need change.

Call it whatever you want, but that's why most of us who want to elect Barack Obama are voting for him.

That doesn't make us easily fooled.

It makes us excited about the prospect of ending this 8 years of what historians are very likely to say is the worst presidency in our history.

-- You are absolutely free to comment on this entry. And I am free to approve it (or not) based on its quality of content. Choose your words, and I'll print it. Don't and I won't. Remember, this is my blog, and therefore my point of entry to the First Amendment.

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