Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Obama Vision In 3-D

March 20, 2007 by  
Filed under Weekly Columns

Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who was, as they say, of the Caucasian persuasion. He and I have had political conversations over the years. He’s usually on the conservative side and I have what I consider to be a bonafide liberal, left of center point-of-view. We both are very concerned about the disaster in Iraq and lately that has been the main focus of our talks. After we talked about the latest developments he switched gears on me and asked me who I was going to vote for. Without skipping a beat I told him “Barack Obama.” Without skipping a beat his reply was “of course I should have expected that.” The implication of his statement was that I wanted Senator Obama because he was Black.

So I patiently explained that his politics represented the people oriented policies that the Democrats have stood for from Roosevelt to now. He listened and commented but I could tell that he never really took my objective statements seriously. We ended the conversation with his unstated belief that no matter how I explained it I would be for Barack because he was Black.

Later as I thought about how silly this was, I thought about Colin Powell and how I had never supported him or even thought about supporting him. I wished at that time that I had thought about Colin Powell during the conversation. I wish that I had a dollar for every time that I’ve walked away from a conversation and thought about something that I ‘should-a could-a would-a’ said. If I had thought about it then I would have told him that Colin Powell was better known than Senator Obama. I would have said that he had far more political experience. I would have said that his international experience as a general supported a resume that garnered respect in all nations. Last but not least Colin Powell was from that small group of super qualified people that we choose our presidents from. He was after all a distinguished general.

Next time that you get a chance I suggest that you take a look at the jobs of our former presidents. You will see that from General Washington and down almost 100% of our presidents have been from the following four groups: Generals; Senators; Governors or Vice Presidents. The job of the President of the United States is the most powerful job in the world and therefore it is definitely not an entry-level position. This of course does not exclude anyone from running for the nomination of their party. Anyone can throw their hat into the ring. We’ve seen civil rights leaders; business leaders; ministers; consumer rights advocates and others but in the end the office goes to someone from one of the four groups.

On paper in Colin Powell looked tremendous. He was the total example of the guy that is much more qualified than his boss. Yet he had not one drop of appeal to me. As the saying goes “everyone that looks like us ain’t us.” Harry Belafonte has spoken on many occasions about Colin Powell and his inability to speak truth to power. Harry and I definitely agree on that.

I was so glad that Colin didn’t run and I am so happy that Barack is. Now keep in mind that I see Black Republican as an oxymoron. 33 Republicans voted against renewing the Voting Rights Act and that reality will always make Colin and Condoleezza figments of a conservative imagination.

Barack Hussein Obama is reality personified. He is a world traveler and he brings a perspective that is deeply different from the provincial Texan that has turned the White House into an Orwellian Fiefdom. Surveillance for the supposed purpose of safety is the rule of day.

Electronic Martial Law is taken for granted as Attorney Gonzalez hallucinates brand new presidential powers that seek to stifle or even silence the dissent of all who dare to say that the Emperor has no clothes and that indeed the Emperor’s Empire is being systematically stripped bare of its protective outer garments of Freedom of Speech; Freedom of Religion; Freedom of the Press, etc. Journalists like Josh Wolf in California are locked up on trumped-up contempt charges while Congressman Virgil Goode, Republican of Virginia, has the nerve to question the right of Congressman Ellison to take his oath of office on a Koran.

Against this backdrop a man steps forward with a middle name that the people we need to negotiate with can relate to. Barack Hussein Obama is the next logical step in a race for Mideast stability. He understands the importance of talking to people that Bush seeks to ignore from one arrogant policy to the next.

This article would miss its mark if I didn’t tell you the number one qualification that makes Senator Obama the right man for the job.

The Office of the President is supposed to be reserved for someone that has ‘VISION.’ It is not a job for crowd pleasers and crowd teasers. How can you lead a country when you follow the crowd that desires leadership? This task seems to me to be impossible. It’s like a child raising a parent or a dog teaching tricks to its master. We will do ourselves and the generations that follow a grave disservice if we elect someone that marches in lock step with each drum beat of war. 23 senators voted against this war … 22 of them were Democrats.

Frankly I am baffled by the fact that none of the senators that are running are a part of this group. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden and the others are all crowd pleasers. When the people scream for blood a pint is given, but a real leader, a leader with vision refuses to spill a drop of blood that is not justified. I cannot in good conscience endorse a primary candidate that is running against a war that they gave the president the authority to create. How do you run an election against yourself? Isn’t that like cursing your own mirror?
By Samuel J. Vance

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